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News: WUMA National Championships

We recently took one of our amazing members Rafe to the WUMA national championships. Rafe has been with me for a number of years now and is a truly incredible martial artist.

At Red Dragons we start sparring once you reach green belt. I know that a lot of martial artists will find that a difficult pill to swallow. The reason we do that is to ensure that all our members have a very good grounding in the basics.

Rafe took to sparring very well and has always excelled. He showed interest in competing so we took him up to the European championships for his first fights (a real baptism of fire). Rafe did really well and won his first two fights and narrowly lost the final against a really experienced competitor.

In the national championships Rafe really stepped up easily winning his first fight and showing composure, maturity and technical skill far above his young years (Rafe is only 9 years old). The final was an extremely close contest which Rafe narrowly lost.

Rafe took each loss with maturity. He was pragmatic about it and he knows that the experience he has gained during these contests will be invaluable moving forward.

Competition is a big part of martial arts. It is fantastic to pit yourself against someone else. It is absolutely natural to be nervous. I remember clearly how I felt before every single contest. It is how you deal with these nerves that is telling. Rafe takes it in his stride. He goes quiet (much like I used to), he prepares himself for the fight.

In life we are faced with a myriad of challenges. It is important to be aware how we label these challenges. If we start down a negative path then we can quickly fall into a downward spiral. However if we recognise them for what they are. As positive hurdles that we can over come as long as we keep pushing ourselves then we start to build a resilience which is absolutely vital in this uncertain world we live in.

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