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Tournaments: Interviews with 4 Thumpers

Thumpers preparing for upcoming tournament

(L -> R) Angel, Ronnie, Montell, Ireland

Martial Arts tournaments are a part of our world, but not a requirement. We are a school that focuses more on street, real world self defense, but there are those in the Thumpers class that are interested and do participate in tournaments.

There was a martial arts tournament this past weekend and three of our students participated, Montell, Ronnie, and Ireland.  Three students and 6 trophies: 4 – 1st place and 2 – 2nd place.  Which is fabulous. Great job! But they work really hard and there must be something beyond the trophies. I started to wonder why the Thumpers put themselves through the extra classes, the harder workouts and added expense of tournaments.  What is it about tournaments that makes all this extra work worthwhile?  So I interviewed 4 Thumpers to get their insider perspective.

Tournaments: Why do you put yourself through the extra hard training? Interviews

Angel: “Hard work is it’s own reward.  There’s no better feeling than knowing you put forth your best effort into a workout or a tournament match.”

Ronnie: “My main reason for training so hard is so that my effort, determination, and focus with martial arts is spoken for. Actions speak louder than words, so if I’m beating the next guy I know my training was well worth it. The cost of tournaments is just another part of life really.  As some would say, ‘You have to pay to play!’ If you’re confident enough, paying to show off your skills against others, with the same mindset is your way of saying, ‘Challenge accepted!’  I feel as though you don’t really know somebody, until you spar against them. It brings out the best in martial arts when many styles come together and share what they have. For the competition side of it for me it’s plain and simple, I’m always up to the challenge.”

Ireland: “I put myself through the extra training in Thumpers because I love to go the extra mile in my JDK training and use it in my sparring practice. I love the rush i get when we go to other schools and feel the different energy other opponents give to me. Don’t get me wrong I love sparring with my older brothers every Thursday, but when go against someone you know little to nothing about that’s when it makes my adrenaline rush the most. Thumpers also keeps me in top shape with the extra push we give which in return shows during my daily routine in life. I have a different connection with all my brothers who are in Thumpers, compared to my other brothers and sisters in JKD class.”

Montell: “I compete in competitions to have a better understanding of martial arts. When I compete I don’t go in with the mindset to win a trophy, or a medal, because those things aren’t really important to me. I love to train and exchanging martial arts knowledge with other martial artist and sparring is the best way to get what you need to know. The extra training is every bit of worth it. Every push up. Every punch. All the running. Its only making us all better. We’ve been doing this sparring team for about four years now. Calculating how many kicks we’ve done is about 49,000. Punches would be in the 80,000’s and that’s from just the sparring class, not counting training in weekly class on top of seminars, and personal training outside of the school. We put in a lot of work and it shows in the competitions, so I’m confident that everyone will do their absolute best!”

Tournaments Results


Jeanne started her martial arts training later in life and has been training at SMAA for over 10 years. She likes all aspects of the martial arts from the physical challenges to the spiritual pursuits of martial etiquette and virtue. She has a master degree in marketing and is currently working on her MBA.

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