Thursday, August 28, 2008

Competitive Nature

A few years ago, I decided to return to work full time. I applied for a job in the garment industry through a recruiter. We exchanged several emails and the recruiter asked me to fill out questions regarding my job experience. He sent me several questionnaires. I use the term questionnaires lightly...they were more like essay questions. I spent at least ten hours on these email questions. Eventually, I was asked to take a DISC assessment. This is a behavioral analysis that categorizes into a type...Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientious.

I turned out to be a High C.
Persons with High C styles adhere to rules, regulations, and structure. They like to do quality work and do it right the first time. High C people are careful, cautious, exacting, neat, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, tactful. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I did not get the job because they were looking for a High I. Go figure.

During the session the recruiter spoke with me and interpreted the results. In addition to being a High C, he told me that my answers constantly indicate that I have a competitive nature. I was hard on myself certain enough but was not competitive. Being categorized as a High C made sense because I can be slightly OCD about some things. I can tell you I was shocked at being called competitive.

It is time to call on my competitive nature. I am thinking of competing in a karate tournament. When I went to tournaments in the past, I just went out and did my best. I know how to prepare for testing and I have helped other prepare for competition. Right now I feel stuck regarding my own preparation. The first step will be choosing which bo kata and which open hand kata I will demonstrate. Not sure about sparring yet.

Have you competed in a tournament? Did you spend extra time on tournament material? Is there a need for extra preparation or is the training time in the dojo sufficient?


Perpetual Beginner said...

I compete every year in the Lennox Legacy tournament in Akron, OH (first weekend of November). I like tournaments, they're a lot of fun, and you get to connect to the wider community of martial artists.

As for prepping - since we go to the Lennox Legacy as a dojo, we tend to prep as an entire dojo. However, the idea remains the same whether you're prepping in company or by yourself. For kata: pick which kata you want to do early, and practice it in different conditions as much as possible. Face different directions. Try it blindfolded. Have a bunch of people look at it and critique it for you.

For kumite: Be as fit as you can, and spar as many different people as you can. If you can find out the tournament sparring rules, spar according to those rules ahead of time. Get used to head gear if they require it (most do). Get out of the habit of spinning techniques if they're banned (sometimes yes, sometimes no), find out if head shots are allowed, etc. etc.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool competitor myself. Love competing, love tournaments. They drive me to perfect my karate in ways day in and day out class just doesn't.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Huh. Just wandered off and found an on-line DISC assessment. Apparently I'm a High S (Steadiness), and low in everything else, but most especially in Dominance (0).

It makes for an interesting profile, since High S and Low C seem to be somewhat contradictory in nature.

Meg said...

I haven't personally competed, but my son went to one very poorly organized competition. If you already know the form you're going to do, I'm sure you'll do well.
Are you going to spar as well? I personally don't like sparring but that's just me.

BTW--I'm an IS, higher in the I than the S.

Michele said...

Perpetual Beginner: Thank you for the tips. I have not entered a tournament since 2003. I am sure things have changed since then. This will be my first competition in the senior division. In the past, I would enter the ring and do my kata. Your comment that tournaments drive you to perfect your kata made me think. I am going to approach my preparation in a similar way.

What did you think of the questions on the Disc profile? Taking the test gave me a headache because everything did seem so contradictory.

Meg: I am not sure about sparring. I would like to but I do not want to put the health of my knee in jeopardy. I think it will depend on who is in the division and if I know them. You are a High I ... you would have got the job!

Perpetual Beginner said...

The phrase grouping on the DISC test gave me problems. Most like me and least like me? In some of the groupings none of the statements seemed like me, in others, they all did. So I felt like I was professing myself to be "x" way, because it was the only choice allowed, or denying that I was "y" way, because there was nothing available that wasn't descriptive.

I like the Meyers-Briggs a lot more.