“I never thought about losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right.” ~ Muhammad Ali
Learning good sportsmanship is as critical to your Kansai Karate training as learning moves and techniques. It can also be a factor in determining promotion to the next belt level.
Good sportsmanship is when athletes treat each other with respect and dignity, despite whether they win or lose. Sometimes being a good sportsman can be difficult, particularly for children and parents when they are upset or disappointed at a loss. Learning how to accept defeat graciously is an key skill that will serve you well throughout your life.
Tips on showing good sportsmanship include:
1. Treat everyone with respect – including opponents, instructors, referees and teammates.
2. Be fair and always play by the rules.
3. Show manners and be polite, for example shake hands, bow, say yes sir.
4. Congratulation your opponents.
5. Encourage your teammates.
5. Accept defeat with dignity.
6. Win gracefully – do not gloat.
Remember you are representing your Kansai Karate club. So if you aren’t a good sportsman it will reflect not only on yourself, but your instructors and teammates. So remember to shake hands with your opponent, before and after a match, and if you lose, do so gracefully.
Losing is actually a fabulous opportunity, as it’s shown that you need to progress, improve and push yourself more. Often we can get comfortable at a current level and not upskill, but losing can push us to realise we need to work harder.
Winning helps motivate us and shows us that continual training is important in order to be successful. Overall in competition, win or lose, it’s vital to smile, shake your opponents hand and thank them. This will make you a great sportsman, a better karate and a better person.