Okay, so how to prepare for a karate competition or tournament. I've competed, well, from my mid-teens to my mid-30s quite consistently so it was quite a big part of my karate life. However, competition is a little bit outside the regular karate training. Obviously during your training you should be covering every aspect that you might need physically for competition, but the mental approach is very different. In fact it's almost contradictory.
When you're competing you're going for the win. When you're training in a regular karate practice, you're freeing yourself from the ego so you're not trying to win at all and in fact it's much more of a sort of personal, deep development thing. Whereas in competition you have an opponent, a visible opponent in front of you. In regular training, you know to use a cliché, the opponent is yourself. So you're working against your desires to slacken off on one technique or another to, you know, ease off on a muscle that might be aching or in some way to try and, you know, circumnavigate the nitty-gritty of regular training. Whereas in competition, all that is completely forgotten as you focus yourself on your opponent and beating the opponent. Which again, if you're doing kumite, you're sparring in the dojo it's much more cooperative.
Competition by definition, it's not cooperative at all. But training, if you're cooperating with your partner, you're learning what your partner needs. In a competition, if you know what he needs you can take it away. So regular training benefits competition in that way, but I would say the biggest difference would be how you approach it and that can be quite personal. For me, I like to view things from a distance with a certain calm. For other people they might want to build themselves up to a state of intensity, and this works in different ways for different characters. I would say though that the training of regular karate practice does prepare you for competition. But mentally, you have to switch on to a different plane.