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Attitude to tournaments

by Olga
(Ukraine)

I have noticed that before (may be a week before) any tournament I feel nervous. I tried to define the reason. And the main reason probably is "not to perform badly".


It seems to me that feeling is "incorrect" and I have to fight it off and never feel again. I don’t know how to do that. So I wonder if you have ever felt the same (or something like that feeling). If yes can you please give me some advices on that?

(I remember your article where you say to use mokuso breathing. But that was about the time just before the shiai. It seems to me that my issue is about the mind state or my attitude to shiai etc. something that makes me think about the shiai long before it.)

Thanks for your time.

Kendo-Guide.Com: There is a saying in kendō.

Do shiai just like you do jigeiko.
Do jigeiko just like you do shiai.

This should be the attitude towards shiai and keiko (training).

If you try to do better in shiai or promotion exam, you feel more pressure because you are trying to do something you don't normally do in keiko. I think that's the main cause of feeling too nervous.

I had an opportunity to participate in All US Kendo Championship 2011. All I was trying to do is to show my students to do kendo just like we do in keiko. Even that means there's more chance to lose.

Mind you. In shiai, whoever hits a target wins. So if you don't want to lose you have to protect yourself no matter what. If you want to win you have to hit a target no matter what.

That is why you see people ducking and doing something they never learned to do in kendō.

That is a human nature; no one wants to lose. They want to win because they're in shiai.

The most challenging thing is to do kendo that we learned from our own teacher and that we believe in under any circumstance.

The most ideal kendo is "correct and strong". Right?

I don't advise you to try to relax but try to do your own kendo that you believe in. Shiai is a place to see if you can do kendo you’ve learned.
So if you nervous, try to have a lot of kia as if you are letting all the nervousness out of your system. Squeeze all the nervousness, worries and stress out of the system. That calms you down in shiai :-).

Hope this helps.

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