Tournament: Round 2!

I entered my second karate tournament yesterday. There were five contestants in my division, which made me hopeful. Particularly when I was advanced to the second round without needing to fight, due to the odd numbers. That meant all I had to do was win one round to secure a medal (I think) and anything beyond that was for glory.

The tournament event started an hour later than it should have. I was nervous as hell and couldn’t stop moving, a huge knot of anxiety in my stomach making me feel slow and heavy like at grading. But after a few pointless stretches, I warmed up with a guy who turned out to be enterring the 14-year-old division, and he whooped my butt! I felt bad, but it was good to warm up and burnt a lot of my adrenaline. After a very long wait, I finally got to test my mettle.

The first opponent was the one who beat me in a previous tournament, the fellow named John. I was getting confused because they were saying "Wait there John, he’s coming to you!" or "One-two John!". I felt like I was in control of the fight most of the time, putting pressure on him, landing more hits and basically being a better fighter. However, I suspect the video Bethwyn took shows otherwise because I didn’t score any points. I lost 0-1, which was regretable but good practice.

To my surprise I was called on for a second round, which I jumped in to. I was a little tired but happy to be fighting again. Once again I felt I was in slightly more control, putting pressure on the opponent who was slow and predictable. However, I didn’t seem to be doing much better, because while I could attack and counter-attack, none of the hits seemed to be scoring. I did take a punch to the forehead which dazed me a little (it was a harmless stun, but they called the doctor over to check for concussion) and no-one scored for the entire three minutes. We went into a tie-breaker round of one minute, where I was penalised for using a reverse backfist twice (considered a dangerous move because you can’t see your opponent as you do it- you just swing and hope you hit something. I do this on instinct when my back is to an opponent because one of us has slipped past the other. This is a habit I’ll have to break for tournament fighting) so the round went to him.

All up an exciting evening, full of nerves and adrenaline. I came away with a few cuts on my right shin (apparently my roundhouses were blocked, but I didn’t feel them at the time) and a few odd bruises I don’t remember getting. I’m not too sure why none of my attacks scored (or why some of the opponent’s attacks didn’t score- they certainly winded me two or three times) but I’ll check that out by re-watching the videos (if I can find a way to brighten them). Thanks to Bethwyn for coming along and Craig for his well-wishes! Better luck for the state matches coming up!

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