As part of the prep for tournament Reed Sensei has been doing a bit more sparring practice. A big piece of that is strategy. He said he originally had 57 tricks of the trade, but over the years found that the jab and follow up punch was what got him all of his medals. So that's what we focus on a lot.
This goes into conflict with so much of what I'd been doing at my old school. Most often we led with kicks for judging distance, but that doesn't get any points. So it's that clash of semi reality and sport karate that's so frustrating to me. However it is fascinating to finally understand what the judges look for and play the old tapes of fights in my head. I had literally won three of four matches in previous competitions by getting walloped by over enthusiastic competitors, not by any fancy moves on my part.
I've got a big bruise on one ankle that's going to take a while to heal (a week?), but I didn't break anything so that's good. Reed caught me on the chin pretty good at one point and I got to see some sparks, but nothing horrible.
After class was just practicing the application portion over and over again. This time it was all me as the attacker. This was my original position and I've become quite rusty so that took a lot of going back over. We finished up working on the bunkai and cleaning up a lot of stuff.
I made the decision not to go to the Yakima tournament. I'm going to be gone the next weekend so I can't give that up and fall behind on work at the house. Frustrating, but in the end the best choice I could make.