Woke up at five this morning with a migraine closing in on me. So I'm disinclined to spend much time in front of the screen for the next few hours.
Never mind. Mr Flinthart has all your Monday morning reading needs covered with this excellent post about taking three of his littl'uns to a tae kwon do tournament.
It was a well timed post for me, having spent an hour with Anna on the weekend laying down the basics of kumite. Not satisfied with the gnarlier street defence aspect of jujitsu she'd asked if we could do some 'regular fight' training, where the fighting is bound by rules and obigations of honor, unlke those methods in which she's being trained for self defence.
Flinthart explains how they do things in his dojo, which is pretty much how they do them everywhere children are taught in the Tokhon Ryu.
I expected my three players to get tagged out on points fairly early. After all, the ruleset actually precluded about eighty percent of what they know how to do: no grappling, no locks, no throws, no ground-fighting, no strangling, no knees, no elbows, etc. In the Scottsdale dojo, I break it up for them, of course. Sometimes they practice judo-style, trying to throw. Other times they wrestle on the ground. Sometimes they practice the standing/striking stuff. And there are games: with padded foam "swords"; games where they try to push one another out of a designated square. Learning games. And sometimes, for the fun of it, I ask them to put it all together: stand and strike until someone grapples. Then struggle for the throw. Then keep going on the ground for a submission of some sort.
That's what they think of when someone talks about "fighting" on the mat.
In other words, they went into this competition at something of a disadvantage. Not only were they barred from most of what they know, but they were competing with kids for whom the standing/striking stuff was all they did.
What happened next is well worth a read. Especially if you have your own littl'un and you're considering enrolling them in a martial art. (With one caveat. Flinthart's kids live at home with him. They live at the dojo, in other words. They live the art every day, whether they know it or not, whether they are on the mat or not. It's not the same as turning up once a week for an hour's practice).