In my essay I am going to point out the mental, physical, and practical side of preparing oneself for an overseas tournament. In this you will see how the tenets are clearly followed by the true Taekwon-Do practitioner. As I am just a junior this was all very new to me and it became apparent that many people, both those within Taekwon-Do and others that do not practice Taekwon-Do would become involved in the preparations, so I am going to point out those many different things that have made it possible.
Before you start training for any event you must be feeling positive towards what you are doing and always set goals for yourself and make sure that you achieve them. This is the mental side of training for an overseas event. One of my personal goals is to win. For example if you say to yourself that you are going to compete just to get the experience, then you are obviously not mentally prepared to win. But, for example if you do say that you are going to win, then you are already a winner mentally. You have to remember that you are representing your country and not just yourself, and you must be proud of this. You have to keep on pushing yourself mentally to the max and physically keep yourself on track.
The physical side of training for a overseas event is probably one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. But anyone can do it. 'If you put the training in, then you will get the results. You can't go for a run every now and then and think that you are actually going to get somewhere. The key word is to be 'consistent' with your training. But you have to be conscious of your bodies limit. You must remember that everyone has different limits, and not to burn yourself out. Your training must involve all areas such as, stretching, running, bag work etc. For everything has its own purpose.
Time is always a big factor when you are training for a overseas event. You must always put your training's first and sacrifice other things. You may some weeks train up to six times a week, but you still must try and turn up to every one if possible. A typical training week is as follows:
|Monday||Papakura||Club Training||2.00 hr||60 km||40 min|
|Tuesday||Milford||With Senior Squad||2.00 hr||142 km||110 min|
|Wednesday||Papakura||Club Training||2.00 hr||60 km||40 min|
|Thursday||Otahuhu||Rua Kaiou (SATKD)||2.00 hr||80 km||60 min|
|Sunday||Papakura||Black Belt Training||2.00 hr||60 km||40 min|
|Sunday||Milford||With Senior Squad||2.00 hr||142 km||110 min|
This totals to an approximate distance of 484km, (7 1/2 to 8 hours travelling), and up to 12 hours training a week, not including any extra running or exercises done at home or at school. The true Taekwon-Do practitioner is dedicated to their art. You have to be prepared to travel, as trainings could be almost anywhere. There are many people that give up their time, for you to be able to have the opportunity to go to an overseas event, such as your coach, instructor, parents and even your friends.
One of the highlights that I have had whilst training for a overseas event is attending a variety of different training's with senior Dans. All instructors have their different ways of teaching students, and you respect their teaching. If you are taught one thing by one instructor and another by another instructor it can get quite difficult to know which is right, but you can always look it up and find out or approach a Senior Instructor if you are still confused. Training's can vary, some nights a training can be physically intense and other nights it can be a light training, but you must be prepared for either.
When you are training you must watch what you eat. You should try and eat more carbohydrates, keep a low fat intake, keep salt intake moderate, and eat a wide variety of foods. Also drink plenty of fluids, for what comes out of your body whilst you are training must be put back in (especially the water). For if you do not do this you may find that you will not be able to perform to your absolute peak self.
It is a good idea to get a different view of other martial arts before you go overseas. You can do this by entering other outside TaeKwon-Do tournaments. This way you will know how to adapt your sparring style so that you won't get caught out by your opponent when you get to an overseas tournament.
When you get a badge to represent New Zealand you must make sure that your uniform is in top condition, for if you get to your tournament and your uniform looks tacky in comparison with all of the other countries then it is going to make New Zealand look bad. Also you must show respect and courtesy to not just the seniors but everyone that you meet whilst you are wearing the New Zealand badge. Always remember that first impressions last.
So as you may now realise training for an overseas tournament is not that easy. There are many things that it involves. But as long as you try your best and follow the rules I am sure that in the end it will all be worth it.
My advice - just remember those tenets and follow your heart: