I may be the queen of forgetting stuff 😁 If you’re at all like me, or if you’re trying to prepare for your first Martial Arts competition, this list of items to NOT forget may come in handy! I’ll start with some more obvious items that might accidentally slip your mind as you’re getting ready, and then move into some other ones I’ve learned about through different competitions.
1. Kicking Paddles
This is top of my list because I always, ALWAYS forget to pack targets 😂 Then I have to end up borrowing some from whoever’s around me at the holding area at tournaments– you meet a lot of strangers this way, haha 😀 The Prospecs kicking paddle I have pictured above is what I use & take to tournaments to warm up for matches with.
2. Snacks & Water
I’m one of those people who’s ALWAYS hungry, so having snacks & water readily available is crucial to me, haha. The night before I compete I’ll make a trip to the grocery store and buy snacks to stay fueled up for the next day. Some snack ideas that I eat are: Bananas, Almond Butter & Honey Sandwiches, Granola Bars, and Trail Mix. I also grab a few water bottles. I don’t like the high amounts of sugar in drinks like Gatorade or Powerade, so instead I’ll mix in an electrolyte-drink like Nuun in my water to refuel on competition day.
3. Belt & Uniform
This is another common sense one, but it doesn’t ever hurt to double check. The last competition I went to, I was out the door when someone reminded me my uniform was still hanging in the closet… 😬
So the lesson is, just double check the you have both belt & uniform in your bag. The extra few seconds it takes to double check sure beats the stress of showing up looking for a solution or having to purchase a last-minute uniform at the venue!
4. A Notebook
I take a notebook to every competition day with me. I picked up this habit in order to be able to learn from my experiences. Win or lose, once a tournament or fight is over, I’ll grab my notebook and write down my perception of how I did. I’ll write down details like how I felt, my actions and reactions, what happened, etc. This is great to learn about yourself and reflect back on your growth later on too.
5. Athletic Tape & Creams
You’re at a competition being an athlete. There’s a good chance you might get some type of minor injury. And if you’re sparring like me, you’re in a full-contact sport. Even if you think you’re not going to get hurt, I would still take some athletic tape & pain creams. And who knows, maybe you won’t need them, but it’s good to have them handy in case a friend does!
6. Hairties, Nail Clippers, and a Towel
Sorry to most male athletes, but this first one probably won’t apply to you.
Hairties- Every time I exercise, I want to shave all my hair off. It gets in my face, mouth, eyes, it’s just annoying! When I’m sparring, we’re not allowed to wear any metal like bobby pins. I usually tie my hair in a bun and put on a headband to keep my hair out of my way 😀
Nail Clippers- If you somehow make it past inspections at a WTF competition with long nails and you get caught with that in the ring, they give you up to 1min to clip your nails or you get disqualified. So take a pair of nail clippers with you or get ready to start biting!
Towel- FYI, you’re going to get sweaty. Take a towel to cool off and try to keep things sanitary. Enough said 😉
Don’t Lose Your Credentials! They give these to you when you check in at a competition, and usually charge you if you lose yours and need a copy. These are usually used to let you into the tournament, holding area, and to identify yourself when you go up to compete. Attach the lanyard to your equipment bag or someplace you won’t forget.
8. Headphones & Phone Charger
I LOVE to listen to music on competition days! It’s such a great way to get myself in different moods- whether it’s relaxing because my fight isn’t for a few hours, or pumping myself up while warming up. I usually take a pair of wireless headphones that don’t bother me and I can kick and move around in. My phone battery also tends to get drained at competitions. I love taking photos with friends, videos (vlogging my fights), listening to music like I mentioned, and who knows what else! I not only take a phone charger, but also an external battery to be able to charge my phone on the go!
9. Comfortable Shoes
If you’re going to a Taekwondo competition, you should know that they RARELY run on time. You’re going to be there all day, most likely. Make sure you’re wearing some comfy shoes that’ll keep your legs ready to compete!
To take this one step further, if you are competing in Sparring and are using electronic gear, I’d make sure to take some extra shoes that you can wear with electronic socks. My all-time favorites are the Nike slides. These can be adjusted to fit your feet while you wear socks so they don’t end up filthy and you don’t step on anything that could hurt you!
10. Mouthpiece & Extra Gear
My last suggestion is to make sure you don’t forget any part of your gear. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I packed my mouthguard and went up to inspections to realize I had to run and buy a new one. Again, save yourself the stress and be prepared 😀
I really hope this list helped you guys out, be sure to leave a comment below if you’ve ever forgotten to take something important to a competition or if you have anything else to add to the list.