The biggest benefit a martial artist gets from competing in a martial arts tournament is developing the courage to face fear.

“Fear” rears its ugly head in many ways. Butterflies in the stomach. Negative thoughts of dropping your weapon, tripping over your own feet or feeling as if your feet are stuck in molasses while sparring; or thinking that everyone else in the building will notice you and pass judgment on you as a martial artist.

All of these things could be labeled under “fear”. But, there is an old self improvement expression about the word “fear” and what the letters stand for; here it is…

False Expectations Appearing Real

When you feel fear, many times it is associated with all the negative pictures and thoughts you have running through your head – many of which are of future events that haven’t happened yet. When you let your mind run wild with these negative thoughts and pictures, you feel afraid.

Part of competition is facing these fears – facing these negative thoughts and picture you have in your head – and proving them wrong. By facing your fears and making yourself compete – in SPITE of the fact that you might feel afraid or nervous – you get stronger mentally, emotionally and physically.

Once you develop this skill, you can apply to every area of your life. Think about a situation in your life that has happened recently where you felt “fear” or were nervous or tentative. Imagine what you would have looked like and how the outcome may have been different if you went into that same situation completely fearless, free of nervousness or tension.

Would the outcome have been different? What about the entire experience itself – would it have been more enjoyable?

By developing the personal power of being able to face your fears and perform anyway, it can truly change your life for the better.

In this short video, Master Dennis Brookman shares how he faced his fears, nerves and negative thinking and how competing in the tournaments changed his life forever…

Please Share Your Comments & Questions

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SPECIAL REQUEST: Please keep your comments or questions thoughtful, intelligent and respectful. Z-Ultimate believes, represents and teaches the values of respect, discipline and humility; please keep that in mind when commenting. Thank you.


  1. Robert Yniguez
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 13:05:27

    SIr, we are the same. I didn’t get my first trophy until 3rd degree brown belt. Funny thing, you were my judge for sparring. I didn’t place in sparring but I did in forms. Master Prosch told me I had good power and technique but my kicks were to stiff. He said, “start kicking more” …and I did.
    My instructor through the ranks wasn’t a tournament person. I had to learn almost everything on my own. What I mean is you could tell someone how to prepare but its not the same as being in the tournament and competing. You learn from competition and gain help from those that have experience. I started my first tournament at Orange belt, did pretty good at forms and horrible at sparring. That following week I met Master Perlman. I asked him “how can I get better with kicking, tournament and sparring?” I asked him cause at the time he was a 3rd degree black belt and he’s had experience with tournaments. His reply was, “Keep practicing”. At the time I was like “OK” but I think after I got my first trophy. I realized the answer I was given from Master Perlman was the “KEY”. At a young rank I was looking for that special technique. I had the special technique, I just needed to practice it. In Every tournament I competed in I have learned how to evolve as a martial artist. Everything I’ve experienced in tournaments I have shared with my students. Now they are the ones placing at tournaments at an early belt. I’m proud of myself but especially proud of my students for believing in me and competing. Thankful for all the help everyone has shared with me. I’ve lost match after match, embarrassed myself a couple of times but I didn’t quit, I kept competing.
    Compete to gain experience and grow.


  2. Wellesley MAC
    Jun 16, 2016 @ 06:37:35

    It is better to conquer fear, by this way, you’ll know your limit. Good day!


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