Running A Highly Successful Tournament Under The Worst Conditions

It’s an understatement to say that 2020 has created unprecedented difficulties for martial arts school owners. Events have been cancelled left and right and students are craving competition more than ever just to have something to look forward to. 

Jue’s Taekwondo is located in California and is under some of the strictest health guidelines in the United States. Also complicating this was that they were experiencing wildfires that made training outside potentially hazardous.  Yet they were able to throw an innovative tournament for their students and make a $1,000 dollars doing it. 

What was their secret to running a successful tournament that worked on sparring fundamentals yet still managed to be physically distanced? They held their very own 2020 Armor Combine. 

Introducing Data Driven Power Competitions To Your School

“The key was using 2020 Armor to run our Power competition,” says Instructor David Jue. “2020 Armor recently created a new format for tournaments using their mobile app. These competitions are called Combines. Their app can measure your stamina, reaction time and power and the competitions are based on who can get the highest score on the different game modes. Part of what makes tournaments exciting is having a huge crowd there with you. We were only able to gather groups of three kids together so we had to give them something they’d never seen before to get them excited. The kids love 2020 Armor because it’s like video games. We hooked up the app to a big screen TV so they could see their score as they were playing. They went nuts for it.” 

The most important thing for Jue’s Taekwondo was to make sure that the tournament was safe for their students and kept them excited about martial arts during lockdown. One of the most crucial aspects of martial arts is how it makes students part of a community. The tournament needed to bring students together even if they couldn’t do it in person. 

We are going to explain step-by-step how they ran a highly successful tournament under the worst conditions and succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. 

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Data Driven Marketing

Since they weren’t able to gather for class in person Jue’s Taekwondo reached out to their community digitally. They communicated in their Zoom classes that they’d be having a power competition coming up. They explained the rules and what the tournament would be focusing on. 

Then they sent out this digital flyer to their students and parents explaining the safety precautions, what the students would be learning, what techniques would be the focus of this tournament (Elbow strike, Turning Side Kick and Side Piercing Kick.) This gave each student in each division a chance to shine and they highlighted that the divisions would be small for safety. 

Notice how the flyer features the 2020 Armor and their instructors wearing it. This shows that the experience will be different from a typical tournament and will get your students more excited. 

Running Your Data Driven POWER COMBINE: 

Set Up: For equipment all they needed was one Wavemaster and a 2020 Armor Vest. Many schools under less restrictions will want to have more Vests on more fighting bags to speed up the running of the competition. 

  • They scheduled groups of three kids at regular intervals over 5 hours to provide time for students to participate and leave without creating any traffic congestion. They would text parents when their child’s group was up.  
  • They brought in three kids at a time, all of them wearing masks. The instructor would explain the competition. 
  • Then a student did their three techniques on the power mode.  The power of their strikes were measured down to the kilojoule by the 2020 Armor training vests. 
  • Mr Jue and his team entered the data from each student’s entry using a pen and paper focusing on the average power for each technique.  
  • Then Mr. Jue and his team wiped down the equipment with lysol wipes to make sure they were properly decontaminated before the next students did their entry. Due to the health measures the entries took 5 hours.

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER TO YOUR DATA DRIVEN TOURNAMENT

One of the most important benefits of a 2020 Armor Combine is retention. It gives you observable metrics you can use to praise your student’s progress and show their growth. 

The key for Jue’s Taekwondo was to break their Combine into many small divisions for each belt level. This gave them many winners and a chance to reward those efforts with small prizes. 

During the next Zoom class for each belt level they announced the winners and praised the efforts of the competitors. Not only did this give the contestants a sense of accomplishment, it made the students who hadn’t entered eager to join the next Combine. 

An Incredible Data Driven Insight: Proof that belt colors matter

“There was a really interesting data point we found in the Combine,” says Jue. “As we climbed belt sizes we noticed a continued  and dramatic increase in power. This isn’t just connected to ages as oftentimes older students in lower belt sizes still had less power. This is objective proof that the techniques as you progress make you more powerful. We know that our instructions matter and make you a better martial artist. But that’s not something you can know for sure until you have a number to put on it. It’s great to have a number to point to.”

Want to run a competition like this at your school? Learn how by checking our step by step guide to running your own Data Driven Tournament!

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