How I Defeated a National Champion...
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Earlier today, I went to a kids karate tournament.
I come from a martial arts background starting at the age of four.
Throughout my youth karate career, tournaments used to give me mad anxiety.
Even as a kid, you feel a rush of adrenaline the moment you step in the ring to fight...
Tournament matches were all about speed. The first person to score gets a point and the first person to five points wins.
What makes tournaments challenging? Fighters fly from all over the world and all have different styles. And nobody has ever seen each other fight before.
During one tournament, I faced a kid from Jamaica. At the time, he just looked like any other fighter. Little did I know, he was actually a two-time national champion.
Immediately, I could tell he was very flashy - throwing super high kicks and spinning combinations.
So I faced with two choices:
1) Play defensive and try to counterattack his moves
2) Trust my training and be the aggressor
If you really pay attention to tournaments, all fighters will have three main moves. You may see different variations of those moves, but there's simply not enough time to throw anything else.
So what did I do?
First point - I throw a very basic combination
Second point - I threw the same exact combination
Third point - Again, I threw the same exact combination.
So while he was trying to be cute, I pulled the exact same move three times in a row and quickly found myself up three points.
By the time he realized what was going on, it was too late.
After the match, people were giving me praise. His dad came to shake my hand. But in my head, I just kept thinking I didn't actually do anything special.
Fast forward to present day, as instructors, we know how to train winners.
We teach them three basics movements.
And we practice them over. And over. And over. And over to the point where it's muscle memory.
We know that when the adrenaline rushes in and our fighters are unsure of themselves, they end up going back to what they've been practicing for months.
The question is - what have you been practicing?
Because when you're faced with a tough choice or task, I can predict your next move... let's just hope it's the right one.