Testing Tips!
Why You Didn’t Get The Score You Expected…And What To Do About It!
Have you ever gone to a tournament where you felt you did your best...but your final score didn’t reflect it? Everybody has from
time to time. I know I sure have. The reason for your disappointing score could be any number of reasons. So let’s go over three of the most common reasons for low scores at testings and tournaments…and what you can do to correct them. They fall into three categories: physical, mental and emotional. The good news is that there are simple changes you can make in each of these three areas to dramatically improve your results. Sometimes a very small adjustment can pay big dividends on a judge’s score card. So let’s begin with the first area you can focus on improving:
“All great things have a solid foundation”. In other words, ALL forms begin with the legs. So take a look in the mirror and consider your stance. What you want is a deep stance with proper knee and foot position. Without proper leg position and proper stances, your technique will lack both power and execution. Not only that, but the fundamental stances and kicks form the basis for more advanced techniques. For example, if you don’t have a good basic side kick, round kick and front kick, then your jump
and spin kicks will be weak. Everything starts with fundamentals. That’s why I spend so much time drilling on the basics (go to any Tiny Tiger class and the first techniques I teach will be a front kick and side kick). Make sure you have a deep stance in your form as well as a focus on proper execution. Nip bad habits in the bud and you’ll see your test scores rise automatically.
To perform at your peak during a testing, you have to be mentally prepared. Since performing is part “show” or “performance”, this includes stage work. The very best martial artists are mentally prepared weeks before the big day. Preparation is a simple matter of knowing your material and practicing at home diligently. If you know your material physically, you’re more relaxed mentally. You’ll have “muscle memory” working for you. This breeds confidence, which in turn creates self-esteem. Then you’ll test well…effortlessly. Parents also play an important role before their kids test. Make sure your kids attend all classes, practice at home and are well-rested before a big event.
One of the most important emotional qualities a judge looks for at testing is: ATTITUDE. But not just any attitude. No, you need a Black Belt Attitude. Anyone who attends a class here at our school will hear the phrase: “Black Belt Attitude” over and over. This means focus, discipline, intensity, perseverance and respect. A true Black Belt can make a mistake in their form...but many judges overlook that mistake. Why? Because a black belt keeps going and never skips a beat! By the way, you should expect to make mistakes. It’s normal. On the other hand, do not expect to fail. That can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you dwell, you doubt. When you doubt, you fail. So, give yourself room for a mistake or two but don’t dwell on them.

Focus on improving the three areas I just discussed: the physical, mental and emotional facets of testing...and watch your scores soar!