(two videos, one of each of his Kata's)
On Sunday Runner and I got up early to head to the hotel we swim at on Fridays. It was the location of the Kingston Kicks Karate tournament. It was a first for both of us. I do this for other first timers as I had no idea what to expect. Not knowing how they go we arrived at 8:45 since registration was at 9am and we wanted to get registration confirmed to get a good seat. Next time we won't be so early. People move around since you never know where you next competition will be or what time. This drove me a little nuts. And since Runner is used to my peculiarities it seemed to drive him a little nuts too.
I packed a bag with books and pitas and dip I had figured we could get a proper lunch and drinks at the hotel. I was glad I had brought some food because no schedule, order or time table meant I had no idea if we could head to the restaurant for 30 minutes. Instead he or I ran to the vending machine.
We found his club. We also met people from other clubs It was a very friendly atmosphere that in ways reminded me of the camaraderie of powwows. Other Moms were able to explain to me a bit of what to expect. They all seemed cool with the no schedule thing. I met another first timer Mom and she was as lost without an order as we were. It is true powwows do not have an order but since it all happens in one spot and any exhibitions and specials are well announced you do have time to grab food or hit the port-a-potties ...Karate has toilets though :) Also I know the order of a powwow....much like the non-first timers at the tournament. The other difference is there is lots of general powwow time (intertribals).
On To The Big Stuff
Runner must have been nervous cuz his appetite was that of a birds. We had some good time talking. He also chatted with some members of his club after settling in a bit. He watched the other competitions and applauded everyone...regardless of club. This makes a Mother so proud to see the good sportsmanship. He waited as patiently as an 8 year olld boy can. We were there from 8:45am till 5pm for 2 competitions. He practiced when now and then with a smile on his face. He talked to other kids he did not know. He helped a lady with a door. I beamed and planned to take him for dinner.His competitions were Kata and open Kata (where they make their own Kata). He had wanted to do 3 (sparing) but when I registered there was no sparing listed. I learned that sparing is also called point fighting and Kumete...I will know for next time. He decided he will do three next time and the time after that a forth. He also announced he would not do sport jujitsu as it is dangerous. He did however enjoy watching it First up was Kata. He competed in his belt level (yellow) and age group (8-6). He and all the others looked nervous. The guy who seemed to be the head judge really knew how to but the kids at ease. I was very impressed. Runner presented well before starting (they have to announce their name, club and Kata). When he was done he took his place. During the scoring I was a nervous wreck LOL I know winning isn't everything but in the moment your thinking "Oh he would be so happy if he placed".He did in fact place...GOLD! He received his medal and shook hands with all the judges. He was beaming, very pleased but not cocky. He was thrilled when they announced him as a Champion. He smiled at me and when we were alone he smiled again and said "Mom they said I was a champion!" We then had a long wait. It turns out that open Kata is generally last...it was. There was not many people left. Sport Jujitsu was wrapping up. Weapon had just gone. All mats but 2 were put away and many people were leaving. I was pleased to see his Senpai and some club members left to cheer all competitors on.Open Kata apparently is not a big event. Runner wondered why. I told him that I suspected the idea of creating your own Kata was more overwhelming to some then the idea of competing. He was surprised because he had enjoyed working on his Kata. Editing it, adding, deleting till he was happy. His Senpai came for encouragement. Just a teen in years but a good supportive teacher...a skill some never learn.Runner placed gold again I could not figure how to upload two videos but here is the link for the video of his open Kata. Then it was 5 pm I had to rush off to work. I had so wanted to take him to dinner. Instead I asked his Dad to let him choose his supper. He picked pita pick. He and I will have to have some time together later.
The medals seemed to have two different but similar designs within each group (gold, silver, bronze) runner was pleased to have gotten one of each.
What I Observed: (good for other first timer parents)
When a mat was unused kids and adults practiced side by side with other clubs. I was pleased that people realized the joy of competing rather then the "I will kick your butt" attitude. there was one local club with that attitude. Everywhere they were there was scowling adults and crying children. Also when I arrived they were discussing if they were well labeled and visible :0 Yeah so glad my son doesn't go there. Also I noticed their club members did not socialize outside the club and did not participate in kata competitions. I also didn't see them in self defense only fight based ones. I thought that was sad. So if your kid likes karate and you live in Kingston I would say all the clubs seem to be well mannered and friendly...except Impact Zone.
Bring food, (snacks and lunch) and drinks.
Meet others; 98% of the people are friendly.
Be prepared to listen carefully, there are no schedules.
Apparently most run in a similar order. Start learning it, in time I suspect a basic concept will emerge.
Have money for a tournament shirt for your kid...no better souvenir.
Join a club that is in it for the love of karate, not the love of money and fighting...it is easy since most seem to be in it for love of karate.