Preparation: There’s More Than Meets the Eye

My first match of my first tournament was against someone much larger than I. He was 6’1, 180 lbs with 6 years experience. I was 5’5, 125 lbs, with no tournament experience. The referees stopped his prior match and awarded him the victory because his opponent was being dominated and not adequately defending himself. With this information it looks like this is a one sided fight. However, that first glance does not show the preparation that went towards my first fight.

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Attention: Focusing on the Information You Need

One of my instructors did a exercise where we would spar with him and the only way he could win was if he hit us with one specified technique technique. We could win if we blocked/evaded his technique, or cleanly hit him with techniques of our own. He could strike at any moment, 5 seconds or 5 minutes in the match and could still defend himself. I tried this exercise with my students and they showed me different approaches to this scenario and the advantages and disadvantages of where you focus your attention.

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Adapting: Capitalizing on Opportunities

Have you ever felt perfectly prepared for something; you extensively researched the topic, prepared your arguments, thought about how to defend your position, to find that task was surprisingly simple? Or that you prepared for the wrong thing entirely? Now you’re in a situation that you’re ill-prepared to deal with and all you have is the information presented in front of you, your intelligence, wits and common sense. What do you do? Would you be able to adapt in this situation?

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Strategizing: Problem Solving Using Chess

We’ve all heard this line in a movie at one point, “I know you better than you know yourself.” That’s how I feel when I am facing someone who has known me since I was 8 years old. My training partner is 6’1, competed with Team Canada, the person everyone is scared to fight and is a brilliant fighter. We’re rivals and challenge each other on a regular basis. How do you prepare against someone who knows your strengths, weaknesses, ability, reflexes, strategies, preferences, and habits?

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