What To Say Before Forms?

The most common question the teachers get around tournament time about forms is: “what do I say before I do my form?” The answer is: “Hello judges, my name is ___. My martial arts teacher’s name is ___. I study martial arts at ___. The form I will be doing today is called ___. May I please begin?” Keep in mind this is a rough template. You can change the order (although it would be odd to ask for permission to start you form and then say your name) of the statements. You can change the words themselves (I train at ___ rather than I study martial arts at ___). The basic idea is to communicate a level of formality to the judges and some basic pieces of information: who are you, who is your teacher, where do you train, and what is the name of the form you’re doing. Watch the video below for an example of this opening bit and also a couple more tips about how to do well in the Forms division.

What Submissions are Legal?

In this post, we will look at which submissions are legal in the upcoming kid’s tournament in respect to arm locks and chokes. The included video shows some of these submissions. Let’s start with the stuff that isn’t legal on the arms – finger and wrist submissions aren’t legal. The reasoning here is mostly about safety. Fingers and wrists break easier and quicker than shoulders and elbows. It is easier to feel when you should tap on an armbar than a finger lock. In addition, it is easier to go slow and ease into a shoulder lock than it is to ease into a wrist lock. Next, let’s talk about what is legal on the arms: armbars and shoulder locks. An armbar is any movement that threatens to bend the elbow the wrong way. A shoulder lock is anything that threatens to move the shoulder beyond its standard range of motion – the Armericana and Kimura are the standard ones that come up most often and are in the video below. Given these perameters, students who choose to do submission grappling during the tournament should be familiar with the feeling of both these movements – they should know when and how to tap. In addition, when applying these submissions, students are expected to secure the lock and apply the submission slowly NOT explosively. Moving on to chokes, students are encouraged to try to find blood chokes and not wind chokes. This sounds super scary to parents but blood chokes are actually safer than wind chokes. Wind chokes are when pressure is applied to the wind pipe – these kinds of moves can be quite painful and dangerous. Blood chokes, on the other hand, temporarily stop the flow of blood in the carotids and are easier to know when to tap to. If students are wearing a Gi, they are welcome to use the Gi to choke their partners with. In addition, if their partner is wearing a Gi, they can use that as a tool as well to submit with. Safety will be he judges primary concern but it should also be on the minds of students and parents. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand what is going on.

How do you score in positional grappling?

This is the second post in a series in which we are going over rules for the upcoming kid’s tournament. In the first video, we talked about how students might be either grappling for position or submission. If the students are both orange/purple or below, they get to choose if they are going to grapple for position or submission. If they are both purple or above, they must grapple for submission. If one student is orange/purple or lower, and the other is purple or higher, the lower ranking student gets to choose. If one student chooses position and the other chooses submission, the match will be for position. In this video, we will talk about some of the positions students can score with if they are grappling for position. In the video, we show mount, crossbody, rear mount, and kesa getami as scoring positions. Note that if the match is to submission, there are no points (but we will go over that in a later entry). To score, one student must hold a dominant position while the judge  counts to three. Please excuse the shaky camera work, I like having the kids help me with these videos so they feel like they are part of the process.

What are the Rules?

I will be making a series of posts over the next few weeks talking about the rules of the upcoming kid’s tournament. The purpose is to help students, helpers, parents, and coaches understand what they are preparing for. I want to tackle the grappling portion of the tournament first. One thing students will want to understand is if they are grappling for submission or position. If students are orange/purple or below, they get to choose. If both students are purple or above, they must grapple for submissions. In the video below, I show how “grappling for position” works:

What to expect at the tournament

What should kids and parents who are coming to the tournament expect?  How should they choose what events to participate in and what to skip?  What are the events and rules? I’m going to go through the 4 events that kids can participate in at the tournament and talk about the structure of each event, the rules and safety concerns. Continue reading “What to expect at the tournament”