The common understanding of Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) in Asia is that it incorporates morals, etiquette, and meaning along with mental, physical and spiritual development – but in the U.S. the common focus is on a visible target. The focus of TMA tournaments is on winning over yourself, whereas the focus on tournaments of common martial arts or sports is winning over others. In the U.S. today most tournaments focus purely on winning over your opponent. Winning over others is victory, winning over yourself is success. If you only challenge yourself to be better than someone else then you will never reach your fullest potential. The goal is to challenge yourself, or ‘win over yourself’, to reach your fullest potential for your ultimate mental, physical, and spiritual development; that is true success. This success directly improves every aspect of your life; you carry that with you always.
“Winning over others is victory.
Winning over yourself is success.”
TMA Tournament Overview
A Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) Tournament is an event during which a practitioner demonstrates his or her skill, in order to be judged against the centuries proven standards of proper traditional martial arts development. Practitioner are judged against this standard, not against one another. A medal in a TMA Tournament is earned through proper execution of high level (Chung Dan Hyung or Chung Joong Hyung) TMA techniques, not by being more proficient than a fellow participant.
This means that it is possible for two participants to earn Gold medals in a single event by demonstrating the necessary skill and ability. It also means that no medals would be awarded if no practitioner meets the requisite standards.
This method ensures than no one who has achieve the proper development loses the opportunity to medal, and no one who has fallen short of the necessary development is rewarded with unearned accolades. Because TMA Tournaments are conducted in this manner all participants wholeheartedly support one another. The goal is to win over oneself and improve ones life. Each individual who can achieved this end has had a successful tournament.
The are several levels of TMA tournaments. Currently there are 3 levels offered locally.
- Local Level – Participates of all ages can compete in one Chung Dan Hyungs. The Chung Dan Hyung is judged on its own merit and the practitioner can medal in the Dan Hyung form.
- State Level – Participates of all ages can compete in 2-4 Chung Dan Hyungs. The practitioner is judged in aggregate in his or her skill and ability in multiple Chung Dan Hyungs. The goal is demonstrate a high level of skill in a variety of forms and weapons.
- Regional Level – Participates of all ages can compete in 3 or more Chung Joong Hyungs. The practitioner is judged in aggregate in his or her skill and ability in multiple Chung Joong Hyungs. The goal is demonstrate a high level of skill in a variety of forms and weapons. To compete the practitioner must be at least 1st Degree Black Belt or have achieved at Bronze medal in a State Level Tournament.
Why Participate in a TMA Tournament
The goal of tournament participation is to challenge yourself, or “win over yourself.” What does this mean? In general, winning over yourself means removing negativity and developing only positivity. It means reaching your fullest potential through mental, physical, and spiritual development. It means achieving success. This success directly affects every aspect of your life. The practitioner learns to alleviate daily stress and gains the strength to overcome bad habits. Confidence increases, communication and relationships are more balanced, and mental and physical health improves. Ultimately, this development leads to inner peace.
A tournament provides a short term focus and goal which culminates in – more important than a medal – a better you. Better equipped for the challenges of life.
As you practice and execute Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) forms and movements you are developing the following traits:
- An increased level of will power
- The ability to reach your fullest potential
- A much stronger, positive drive to excel in your endeavors
- A strong desire to take on challenges
- Not settling for lower standards
- A clearer focus to change your reality
As you perfect your forms and movements you perfect these qualities. Qualities, which will be applied to every aspect of your life for your entire life.
How to Prepare for a TMA Tournament
In order to participate in a TMA Tournament you will need to learn a movement that develops a high level of skill and ability while deeply developing the body, mind, and spirit in a balanced manner. Chung Dan Hyung movements fulfill these criteria.
Leading up to a TMA Tournament it is recommended that the practitioner commit a minimum of 90 minutes per week to Chung Dan Hyung practice in order to fully realize the benefits of the movements and to properly prepare them for demonstration.
To increase proficiency and therefor the likelihood of earning a medal, it is recommended that the practitioner complete at least one Championship Program in each Chung Dan Hyung movement. For those practitioners who have already completed a Championship Program the recommended schedule is a minimum of 90 minutes per week for both Chung Dan Hyung and Championship Program movements combined.