National competitors from Kowkabany’s Family Martial Arts in Tampa, Florida are preparing for the final events of the 2015-2016 ATA tournament season. The action starts with an intra-school tournament for our Tigers (pre-school kids), Karate Kids and Adults on Saturday, April 9th at our location in Monroes Business Park near Oldsmar and Westchase. This will feature the traditional Songahm forms, traditional weapons, free sparring and combat weapons sparring with students as young as age 3 through age 60.
Currently, several of our KFMA competitors are on track to compete for State Titles, and the ATA Southeast District titles will be up for grabs in Dalton, Georgia on June 4th. The last ATA Regional Tournament in Florida (for this season) will be held on April 23rd in Ft. Lauderdale. We also have one student currently ranked in the Top Ten in the World. Since we opened in Tampa in 1996, our Black Belts have earned 4 World titles in Traditional Forms, Weapons and Sparring, as well as numerous State and District Titles.
While it is not required that our students compete, it is a great way for children and adults to make lifetime friends, to learn to perform under pressure, and to learn how to win and lose… with integrity and respect for their fellow competitors and the judges. Sportsmanship appears to be on a decline in popular culture; but in contrast, our events focus on safety, courtesy, self-control and respect. At a recent tournament we saw this summed up on a t-shirt that read, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.”
Some students will compete many times before winning their first medals, but they will also learn perseverance in the process, and they will experience the support and love from their taekwondo family along the way. The achievements that take the most work will eventually be the ones that develop the most confidence, and this paves the way to conquering the ‘fear of failure’ that many non-competitors will never overcome. We don’t want our students to enjoy losing, but we do want them to be able to accept it, and to turn their losses into motivation that will help them to improve for the next time.
At the same time, we don’t want those who win titles to feel they have reached the pinnacle of their art/sport; there is always more to learn, and new challenges will come in the future. Training in the martial arts, whether taekwondo, karate or any other martial discipline, should become part of your lifestyle. In time, the skills of perseverance, respect for oneself and for others, courtesy, and the passion to live life to its fullest, will carry over into a martial artist’s school, work and community.
We have many families who train together, as well as adults and children who train individually. If you are interested in developing the life skills mentioned above, in pursuing competition, or simply in learning self-defense or improving your fitness level, then please feel free to call us at 813-891-0624. All of our classes are taught by Master Instructors with over 35 years of martial arts experience, and you will quickly notice very positive changes in your life.