Sammy Smith Karate

You can be as prepared as ever and still not get the results you had wanted or expected. You can put your heart into every training session, just to lose. The truth is when you step onto the mat the numerical results are out of your control. Sometimes, as mentioned, you can train harder than you ever have, hit a "near perfect" form and still lose. Ironically other times, you can run a form that you didn't think was your strongest with a few slight missteps and still win. Part of having a competitor IQ means that you can assess yourself and your performances realistically and make the proper changes, if any, (but there always are) moving forward to the next tournament. I'm going to share my evaluation process between tournaments down below:


1. Study Videos

One of the most useful ways to know how your forms looked is from video footage. Your forms can "feel" one way and look completely different

2. Study them again... and again

Viewing them entirely is good, but pay attention to those fine details that you may have missed looking at it the first time. Pretend you're watching someone else and you're trying to critique their form as if you've never seen it before.

3. Assess your forms

See if there's a place where you can add in what's needed or take away what's not. Sometimes we have filler moves in our forms that don't provide any value to the routine as a whole.

4. Evaluate your training

Are you doing the proper training for the sport were in? Longer training sessions don't necessarily equal better if you're not doing much of anything productive during them.

5. Finally, never be satisfied

Be hungrier for the next tournament and always on the pursuit to constantly elevate as a martial artist and as a whole. Sometimes tournaments don't go our way and sometimes our performances are on fire. Either way, having the proper mindset and being able to be realistic with yourself and your training from one tournament to the next will help you have that higher competitor IQ which will make you an all around better athlete.



That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
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