There’s a new tournament in town.
In June, ATA will hold a championship tournament in each US district. The tournament for District 13, which includes Pennsylvania, will be June 1 in Downington, PA.
While it will follow the same general format, the District Championship is not open to any student. To qualify, participants must rank in the top 10 in her state for a given competition category. For example, to qualify to compete in traditional forms at Districts, a student must be ranked in the top 10 for traditional forms for her state.
A number of Oakmont Martial Arts students are eligible to compete at Districts. See the sheet in the parents’ room for the complete list.
Preparing for Districts is a lot like preparing for any tournament – but it’s different, too. With the high-caliber expected in each ring, participants are stepping up their games.
School owner and fourth-degree Black Belt Scott Weston knows that practice is key to performing well. But how you practice is just as important as the act of practicing. It’s all in your approach and attitude. “Proper practice makes perfect,” said Mr. Weston. “I can’t just do the moves, I have to actively think, perform and analyze each repetition.”
For Districts, Mr. Weston is working on his long-range form. “My overall focus is fluid handling in the two most technical sections of the form and proper target focus on the strikes and transitions,” he said. “Drilling the transitions is all about focused repetition. Drilling the focus means going through the form and paying specific attention to where I am looking and how I am doing it.”
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference, especially at this level – for example, the simple act of looking before you strike. “Very often the difference between a great form and a world-class form is the way the practitioner looks at the targets before striking, not as they strike,” said Mr. Weston.
Second-degree Black Belt and certified instructor Cyndl Hale is another person preparing for districts through focused practice. For Miss Hale, incorporating feedback from previous tournaments and testings is key.
“No matter if I am preparing for a tournament or a testing I take all the things that I think I could have done better (and the feedback I get from judges) and make sure I work on those things a little extra,” she said.
Instructors are great sources of feedback so don’t be afraid to ask them for help. “Mr. Weston sees strange things in my form all the time, little quirks that I had no clue I was doing until he told me,” said Miss Hale.
What do District winners get, aside from bragging rights? Each Black Belt District champion receives an at-large bid to the World Championships in Little Rock this summer.
Best of luck to all our OMA competitors!
‘INSTRUCTOR’S CORNER’ by Mary Sutton. Mary Sutton is the mother of two Oakmont Martial Arts students (Mary and Michael) a student herself, and a freelance writer. See more of her writing at www.MarySuttonAuthor.com.
- 2016 Northeast District ChampionshipsJune 7, 2016
- Xtreme Team CampJuly 21, 2015
- From Parent to Student to Instructor: Enrico CorsaroMarch 2, 2015