The regional tournament is growing near (March 18th) and Reed and Daniel Sensei are going. Due to the time and money involved I didn't really think it was a good idea for me, but their enthusiasm is making me question my decision.
The class got converted to a testing laboratory last night. Mostly it was talking and discussing the classes and weights for the various competitions. I found out that I'm in the rarified group (Masters) that doesn't have a lot of membership. 45 and older has no weight class nor weapons which I found interesting. Just sparring and kata.
The problem with Blackbelt only sparring is that even though I'm a 1st degree, I might be going up against very high ranking folks. What a joy. They are most likely sneaky and thoughtful. Although I'm not to that point yet, I see that I would probably get suckered easily.
The other part of competition, since it's an open tourney, is that there is no public demonstration of Kyoku kata. So I'd have to dust off one of the few I know on the side and present that. So the rest of the class was spent on practicing the kata even if were weren't going. I have to admit it was a nice change in pace to practice something different and focus on cleaning it up. So I was back to Wando with Mark and MaryAnn Sensei. With the three of us at it at the same time we were able to generate a very clean presentation.
After class was dedicated to practicing the Kyoku application till we were blue in the face. Since Mark and I have switched sides we have a stuttering approach to the kata. So I broke each section down to were he couldn't remember a piece and made him do it over and over again. I thought we looked pretty good, but we when went back to our original sides (where I was the attacker) we fell apart. I couldn't remember a lot of transitions. More practice! Only two months to go!
Good stories from past tourneys. One part of the process is called "entertainment".
- A bunch of folks dress in Star Wars stuff, with light sabers, having a sword fight. A child dressed as Yoda comes in and beats them all.
- An old guy comes in and does a kata and some guy heckles him from the audience. He ends up coming down and getting beat by the old man.
- Big choreographed fight scenes.
It might be the head Sensei's last tourney. He's getting a bit older now and this takes a lot of effort. The 40th anniversary!