What should my mentality be in shiai?
I've been on quite a losing streak lately in shiai and my frustration is only building up. I know I have the adequate speed and form, but I just can't seem to focus 100% and do what I want to do when I fight. The problem seems to be with my mind.
What helps you focus? What do you usually do if you become frustrated with your performance and lose your spirit? Should I play to win, have fun, or learn?Answer:
Thank you for your question. Your question represents many others, including me :)
If you are concentrating on hitting, then if you don’t really get a point, it is normal for anyone to get frustrated. The reason is simple. You are not getting a result you want.
Once late Murayama sensei
told us, “if you participate in shiai, you should win”. Even though winning in shiai is not the main purpose of our daily training, once we participate in shiai, we should win.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Instead of trying to beat your opponent, try to COMMUNICATE with your opponent
. What does it mean?
You should concentrate on what your OPPONENT is thinking not what YOU want to do.
Just like in normal conversation you have with your friends. If your friend keeps talking to you without listening to you and talk over you if you try to share your opinion, what does it make you feel like?
You are thinking what you want to strike and how you want to win. It is normal. But this is only YOUR thoughts. We do have an opponent and he/she has their thoughts, right? We have to think about their thoughts and change our methods.
Why do I know this? Because I recently was in your position. I was very frustrated because I was just concentrating on myself; how I wanted to strike, what I wanted to get a point by and so forth.
Then I read an article from a kendō
magazine. It says that we have to communicate with our opponent. We have to think what he/she wants to do.
Once I started doing that, my frustration level went down.
It sounds like I can read my opponents’ mind but it is not how it works. Our opponents do not lose either. So they are thinking hard just like we do. So try to think what your opponent wants to do and decide what you want to do next.
Hope this helps.