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. 9amGrappling. The first event is wrestling.  Kids will be broken up into divisions that (as best as we are able) puts them with other students of comparable size and skill.  If you (as a parent) see that we have put your child in a group of students that are all way bigger or way more skilled, don’t hesitate to speak up and let us know that you are concerned for their safety. There are three variables in the wrestling division – position, submission and standup.  There are certain ranks at which students MUST go to submission (chokes and joint locks) and MUST start from standing but if they are under that rank, it is their CHOICE. For all students under purple, matches go to a positional pin unless both students agree to go to submission.  Unless both students agree, the match will start from the knees and neither student is allowed to stand up on both feet at either time. For students that are purple sashes or purple/blue sashes, the matches go to submission.  If this is something that you don’t want your child to do or they don’t want to do, talk to your teacher and we will see if it is fair to put them in a non-submission division or if it makes more sense for them to skip the grappling division.  Starting from standing is a CHOICE at this rank and both students will be asked if they want to start from standing or not. At blue and above, matches are to submission and start from standing.  If this is a concern, talk to your child’s teacher and see if they can be put in a division that doesn’t involve standing and/or submission or consider skipping the wrestling portion of the tournament. In the event that the students are of different ranks, we will always defer to the lower ranking student in terms of if the match should go to submission or should start from standing. 10amForms The forms section of the tournament is a time for the students to show their memorized form that they have been taught in class.  This means they must, on their own (with the exception of 3-5 year olds who can do the form with their teacher’s assistance if they choose) do their moves in front of 3 judges.  Students will be broken up into divisions that reflect similar skill levels.  If you feel your child has been put in a division that is unfair – let us know!  Our goal is a fair competition where students are challenged but not overwhelmed. To start their form, students will be asked to give a small verbal presentation.  In this presentation they will say “Judges, my name is ____.  My martial arts teacher’s name is ____.  I study martial arts at ____.  The form I will doing today is _____.  With your permission, may I please begin?”  The script does not have to be performed verbatim but the information contained in the script (name, teacher, form, school and permission) is expected. If the student forgets the verbal information, the judges will gently remind and prompt them.  Older students will be docked points for forgetting the verbal portion.  If you think your child needs help doing their form, talk to your teacher prior to the event. 11amSparring The sparring section of the tournament involves light contact to the body and head.  If we have a group of very young students who want to spar (5-6) we may have a division with no contact to the head. Divisions will be created with size and skill in mind.  If you see that your child has been put in a division in which they are of a vastly different size or skill level, let us know! During the matches, if you are concerned about your child getting injured, don’t be afraid to speak up.  One of the most common injuries is a shin clash – when both students kick at the same time and knock their shins together.  If your child has a pair of shin guards, they are welcome to wear them. The judges job is to keep the students safe.  They will, at the start of every match and during the match, remind the students that the goal is LIGHT contact.  Students who hit to hard will be warned the first time, penalized the second time, and removed from the match the third time. Mystery division It’s our way of sneaking in some physical conditioning to the event.  In the past it has been: how many burpees can you do in 90 seconds, how long can you balance on one leg and how far can you scoot across the room on your back in 1 minute.  If you hear the rules of the event being given and you are concerned for the safety of your child, don’t hesitate to let us know. Hope this helps!  Fun, safety and challenge are our goals!