Apr 4

Getting Ready for the North American Grand Nationals May 5 in Rockford

Metamora Martial Arts students are gearing up for the North American Grand Nationals in Rockford, Ill., in just over a month, May 5.

North American Grand Nationals martial arts tournamentTonight, the students asked me to help them prepare for this martial arts tournament. I, of course, was excited. After I placed first at the AKA Grand Nationals in Feburary, I’ve been itching to take some students to a tournament.

I’ve only been to this tournament once before, in 2006, six days before I tested for my first-degree black belt. I won first place in forms with Go Pei Sho.

I’m sure our students will do great. Over the next few weeks, I’ll make several posts on how to make the most out of a martial arts tournament.

Next week, we will do a drill where we run out forms for power, speed, grace and finally, a combination of all of them. Students should have picked out a form they want to use to compete with at the North American Grand Nationals.

Info on the North American Grand Nationals

According to the PDF, the event will be held at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford, Illinois.

The entry fee is $50 for pre-registered events, or $70 at the door. Spectator fees are $10. All 1st place competitors win a 4-foot trophy.

Registration begins at 9. The tournament begins at 12 p.m.

I would suggest leaving Metamora around 8, giving us plenty of time to make it before the black belt judges meeting.

Preparing for a Martial Arts Tournament

The main tip to competing in a martial arts tournament is preparation. Students will need to practice their form daily in the weeks leading up to the competition. One hasn’t competed in 2-3 years. Another has never competed.

I want to make sure students and parents know that I’m less concerned with how they place (i.e., what trophies they bring home) than with how much effort they put into practicing their forms.

Own the Ring

Another tip is to be confident. In other words, own the ring. I want to point toward my article I wrote several years ago on owning the ring during a competition.

For that minute you’re competing with your form, all eyes are on you. Make it count.

For those two minutes (or however long) your sparring match lasts, get the first point. If you don’t get the first point, get the next two. If you don’t get the first two, get the next three.

This Month in History

Eight years ago today, Mr. Chianakas put on our first of three open martial arts tournaments, drawing more than 100 competitors from around Illinois. The next year we had nearly the same amount. Check out this post on April in Metamora Martial Arts’ 11-year existence.

Basic Class

In the basic class, we reviewed middle block, uppercut punch and vertical punch, as well as horse stance and front stance. We learned corkscrew punch for the first time, noting that the actual “corkscrew” does not begin until the fist touches the opponent.

Adam Bockler

Sensei Adam Bockler is a 2nd-degree black belt in karate and the owner of Metamora Martial Arts. He's been in the martial arts since 2003, and has received instruction in tai chi chuan, Hsing-i chuan, judo, tae kwon do and XMA. Sensei Bockler was inducted into the 2014 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Karate Black Belt of the Year. He is the communications manager for Float Mobile Learning.

  1. Pingback: 39th Semi-Annual Karate & Kung Fu Tournament in Moline | Karate & Self-Defense in Metamora, Illinois

    […] Metamora Martial Arts students – I understand this is six days after the North American Grand Nationals, but I would highly recommend this tournament if you’re interested in […]

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