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I. Obey the rules and regulations, and notice the important details
Due to the fact that there are definitive standards of performance regarding the competition routines, the referees usually judge the performance according to these standard rules. Therefore it is important for the participants to perform according to what is required in the standard and avoid the situations which would constiture violations and result in unnecessary point deductions. You should be aware that it is sometimes difficult to get the right posture when learning from books alone. For example, in the earlier version of the competition routine of Chen style, it is required to display a small circular movement at the beginning while in actual practice, what we do is a slightly bigger circular movement. That's the reason why you should refer to the video on these differences. You should also pay special attention to the notification of changes issued before every competition which usually contains the latest amendments on the rules and the movement requirements. Sometimes the chief judge and the referees might have different interpretations regarding the movement requirements and that will some times result in slight changes in the competition process and the point deductions if you are unaware of them. For example, in the 42 form of Tai Chi Sword, there are some differences in turning foot inward and landing the heel and toes. So you should try your best to get a mutual understanding with the referees about the requirements before the competition.
II. Improve your mentality and getting too nervous during the competition
Almost everybody gets nervous during the competition with the symptoms of the shaky limbs, losing balance or making wrong movements which are mainly caused by mental factors. Some participants may have their harts beat as 180 times per minute. Why do they have such a high heart rate while performing this less strength demanded sports? According to the studies, this mainly due to the nervousness. We know that the technical requirement for Tai Chi Chuan is “to have a peaceful mind and a relaxed body” but the competitions will definitely affect the state of your mind. Therefore the important thing is to let yourself learn to control yourself. Firstly, you need to understand that it is natural to feel nervous, so there is no need to worry about it. Secondly, you can improve your mental readiness by participating in the simulation practices. Thirdly, the extreme nervousness usually happens when performing the difficult movements like “stand on one leg”. Therefore putting more effort and attention in such movements is a good way to overcome such difficulties. Lastly, it would be helpful to learn about your faults during your practice and check whether the movements are performed according to the requirements of Tai Chi Chuan. In general, you mind, your physique and your skills.
III. Get ready in advance and begin on time
Appropriate and sufficient preparations in advance will be helpful in getting good results during the competition. The preparations include a good knowledge of the competition ground, the direction of the performance and duration allowed for warming up. In most cases, it is advisable to begin warming up 20~30 minutes before the competition by jogging slowly, rehearsing the full set of the routine or concentrating on the important movements. Warming up exercise is considered sufficient when you begin to perspire slightly and feel comfortable with the pulse rate around 120 times per minute. This is not, however, a universal standard for every participant since everybody has his own habits and body conditions. It is considered the best when you can best display your skills. The conditions of the competition grounds is also important. You should check whether it is carpeted, and if so, check the quality of the carpet. You should also check how many participants will be allowed to perform simultaneously and the position of yours. The direction of the performance( to the referees and judges accordingly) and the quality of the allowed costumes are also important points you need to notice.
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