At the Dragon Gym, we host two "inner-gym" tournaments a year and some our of students participate in outside competitions. However, our focus is NOT on competition. Rather we are focused on developing well-rounded martial artists and people that will be happy, healthy and successful in life.
The martial arts are an important part of many childhood development programs. Unfortunately, when too much emphasis is placed on tournaments and competition in these programs, there can be some downsides.
Here are some potential drawbacks of a kids martial arts program that puts too much emphasis on tournaments and competition:
- The primary focus can become about winning and losing, rather than about the learning process or the value of hard work.
- There is a greater risk of injury as children push themselves to compete at higher levels than they may have been ready for physically or mentally.
- The atmosphere can become overly competitive and intense, causing feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression in some children.
- A narrow focus on one style of martial arts can lead to a lack of variety and creativity in the program's instruction, which limits its overall effectiveness as an educational tool.