It's the big three in karate and most martial arts, and I get to do all three in a month!1. First, Grading
First is Kihon - which I probably find the hardest, I'm stiff and nervous and my 'warm up' with one of the senpai has left me a little out of breath. Soon I remember what I'm doing though and start to relax a bit.
Kata next - Teki Shodan.
Thank god for the practice! I'd done this 30 times in a row (with some breaks) just the night before and had practiced a lot leading up to it. Stance is still a bit off and it's not nearly as fluid as I'd like, however it seems solid and no major errors.
Kata again -Heian Godan
Hang on - what's this? Kata again? TWO? Blast! Oh well, I remember it well and perform OK I think, although I forget to Kiai(!!)
Sparring next - I usually feel good about this. I score several times with good control and don't get hit. Definitely the grading highlight.
2. Second, Tournament
Another kumite tournament! No broken noses this time. I come fourth after beating a brown-belt to get into the Semi-Finals (thanks Sensei Frank, and Owi-Komi Geaku Tszuki for the win!). I promptly lose to a better fighter in the semi, taking a hard blow to the jaw in the process.
Final fight, I'm beaten by a slow fat man - seriously? Is this me? I guess so. I thought I scored first but it was disallowed. I allowed myself to get crowded and wasn't able to stop him pushing me into the corner and scoring! I'll drill for this next time - Sensei Shane can help!
I finish 4th - not too bad considering, but no shiny medal. Two girls in the club and a junior all win medals. (Including a first place. Osu!)
My personal preference is not ippon kumite, it's too easy to lose the whole tournament in a silly moment. However that's also kind of like life, still the goal should be to learn from a tournament and if your whole tournament is taking a single kick and being knocked out first round that's a bit of a crap day! Still, that wasn't me this time!
3. Third, Breaking
This hasn't happened yet - I'm preparing, probably in a fortnight.
Watch this space!
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