It is now 6:19 AM and I have little time to write. I’m battered bruised and sore from the tournament yesterday: the joint on my left big toe is swollen, my right wrist stiff, I have huge bumps which will turn into bruises on my shins and a huge bruise on my left bicep. I think when I take off my shirt this morning there will be bruises all over the place as I feel pretty sore all along my torso.
It turned out that there were five guys in my division: one from my dojo (two locations, the one I do not attend), three from a pretty fierce school in Las Vegas and one giant of a guy from some other place. As luck would have it I was up first with a kid from the Las Vegas school. It was his first time as well. The order to fight was yelled and we tested each other a bit then I just went straight at him and was surprised at how much he gave away. As he was moving backward I went with a left jodan mawashi geri (round house kick to the head) and to my further surprise connected directly with his face.
He dropped and I went to kneel and look the other way so I did not see the further consequences of my kick. It turned out that I had won. I was glad to have won and that it was quick but boy did I sure feel bad afterwards. He looked very downtrodden and had some blood in his mouth. I also had a rip in my dogi in the leg and blood there as well. I really do not like hurting any living being and I gave this kid a hug and asked if he were ok. He replied that he was and I believe I even unconsciously stroked his back a little bit I felt so bad for that kick.
Yes, I want to learn this beautiful art of karate, I want to be able to defend myself and I want to feel like a ninja but I really don’t want to hurt anyone. Unfortunately this style leads to full contact tournaments and getting hurt or hurting is the status quo.
I didn’t have much of a rest until I was up for my next match. It was with a bigger kid from the same Las Vegas karate school. Anyway, the fight command issued I went at him and he went at me. He came at me and was of much bigger size but I didn’t give way. I pounded on him and he pounded on me. I tried for another head kick but had to jump to reach. It was blocked and I fell down. Therefore I just kept punching his stomach as hard as I could and heard him groan so I kept going for the same area ( I think that is why my right wrist hurts). At the end of the match I thought they would call a draw but it turned out I won that as well. They said that I had put in much more effort and the video afterwards clearly shows me striking him more than me. I was in better shape and simply had more energy. Video and nice action shot from our dojo photographer below.
The problem was I had spent every last ounce of energy I had on that fight which went the full two minutes.
I only had about a 15 minute rest and during that time felt in a way I have not felt since high school. It was like having severe case of the flu and/or a really bad hangover. My head was pounding, my mouth completely dry, my vision narrowed and dark, and the feeling that I just wanted to keel over and die.
I was called up for the third match and I had about 5% energy left which I was using to stand up. The next match was with the other kid I thought might be a bully and he was even bigger! We pounded on each other and in desperation I tried grabbing and tripping (got a warning) and throwing which he was so big did not move much at all. I could tell he was running out of energy quickly but mine was completely spent. He hit me with a knee kick to the stomach which made me go down on a knee. Being high on adrenaline no punches or kicks really hurt so I cannot say if I felt any pain then, I don’t remember any. But my body wouldn’t let me get up; I had absolutely no energy left and was deeply in the state of something like the flu which I described above. My body forbade me to get up again and so I took a knee for three seconds and it was over.
And so I ended up getting second place. Making excuses I know I could have beaten that guy if it were my first match. He only had one match before me and was also 13 years my junior! But that’s the way things went and I’m very happy with second place. As I mentioned yesterday I had no idea how the tournament would go and it was quite possible that I could be writing today that it was me who was knocked out quickly.
As for my son, he took first place and I’m really proud of the effort he put in. Yes, it was the easiest division but also the correct division for his age and rank. Next year’s tournament will be more difficult for him.
After the matches were over I guess I was still feeling the effects of adrenaline because I felt OK. However, about three hours later my head was pounding and my body went into shock as though it was saying “What the hell did you just do to me??” I was shivering after the shower and needed to lie down under a blanket for the rest of the day.
I didn’t sleep well either; my brain was racing and I was replaying the final match in my head thinking if I had just done this or just done that I would have won. If I could just have mustered the energy for one jump and kick to the face perhaps it could have been over. Thinking like that reminds me of Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite wishing he could go back in time, he’d take State! LoL. It is times like this you just have to tell your brain to be quiet because it was the brain that told me I no longer had any energy during that last match!
I missed the state tournament in high school wrestling by two points and sometimes my brain tells me if I had just tried harder I could have made it. Well, yesterday I was reminded that you can replay things in your mind and ‘could have done this and could have done that’ but it is worthless thinking because if it could have been done then I would have done it. Yesterday reminded me of that fact. My energy was spent I was done and was happy with second.
All in all it was very good day and I cannot complain.