Happy Thanksgiving to all my american friends!
In case you didn’t know, I have done karate for majority of my life, and competed both internationally and in North America. Being a business student I feel that there is a lot that correlates between the two, and I understand every sport has their positives but sport karate/martial arts are different from majority of sports. Sport karate is tournaments that are open to all styles. With divisions such as Speed Fighting, Semi-contact Fighting, Traditional Empty Hands Forms, Creative (no music) Empty Hand From, Musical Empty Hand Forms, Soft Style Empty Hand Forms (such as some kung-fu), Creative Weapons, Musical Weapons and Traditional Weapons, and there is more. The competition is divided by belt rank and age, also by sexes as competitors get older.
Now why is this relevant to life, and more so business?
There is a lot of similarities, as I’m sure you will find common with other individual sports. When
involved in an individual sport success is determined by your own work ethic, determination, desire, and ambition much like in the working world. Meaning that even though you train with someone in the gym, it doesn’t mean that you will remain friends in competition or as you enter the ring. In my eyes it’s either you or him that’s going to get the gold, and I don’t know if it’s just because I have expensive taste but I like gold much better than silver.
Side Note: This doesn’t mean I wish bad things upon my teammates, it means I was going to make sure that I was the best and I would not want anyone but my friend challenging me for first.
Now this relates to business in a different sense. Either you or your colleague could be getting the promotion, and even if you were friends I’m sure you would like to get the promotion over him. This is all a part of healthy competition, meaning, two teammates pushing each other to keep improving and get better. I know when I was training with both Mr. Bernardo and Mr. Plowden I had a great family that I would talk to more often than I talked to people in my own city. It was because of these two coaches that I am the way I am, they taught me grit, motivation and more importantly how to be respectable and humble even as success came. It’s not about being a world champion it’s about being a good role model, just as we expect of our bosses and managers. We don’t look to managers and owners for anything but guidance to complete the task at hand, and being a manager or boss who knows humility, respect and how to shape you to be better is much more valuable than the dollar sign attached to it.
Lastly (at least for this blog) I wanted to talk about the community. Competing on a sport karate circuit is much like working in an office, there is different groups and different titles, all focused on the same goal. You have to learn how to maintain balance of friend and time to work/ and being a boss. I remember when I used to compete before I would be up I used to just go away from everyone and prepare. If you know me you know I will talk to anyone and everyone, but it was game time, and no one was going to stop me from reaching the top. It’s important to know that balance, know how to be able to engage with anyone, whether in an elevator or in a karate arena, you have to be ready to be social and make new connections, as in business, you never know if you will be talking to a board of directors or take an elevator up with a CEO. So you just need to be ready. The amount of networking that happens at a karate tournament is vast and unfortunately it was only after I stopped competing that I realized all the opportunities, and what a great learning experience it was, not to mention how much fun it was!
This is just a taste of much more I could write on this subject, I think everyone should have the experience this in one way or another before leaving university or college.
To get more information, answer questions, or give suggestions email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget tomorrow is FashionTipFriday!
Stay fresh Santorials,
Mark A. Santoro
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