The day started off excellently. For a club that’s known for its fighters our kata exponents shone this weekend.
George has been dying to try Annan in the ring after teaching himself the kata at home and then working on it in the dojo for the last few weeks. A deal was struck with Coach Pete that George would do his normal competition kata in the rounds but if he made the final he could do Annan… and of course George made the final! George did a good Annan but even with much room still to improve he took the gold medal and was a very happy boy indeed! Well done George.
With poppy on next for kata (called early and without a warm up) we opted to do Gankaku in her first round to make sure she had the opportunity to do the kata in a tournament before the Nationals in a few weeks. Without being disrespectful we have confidence that and of her other katas would of seen her through the first round but nerves got the best of Poppy with this being the first time she has done Gankaku in a tournament. However these club competitions are exactly just for gaining this sort of experience. Medals are nice but development is the key. Playing is safe isn’t the way to progress and improve. As the saying goes… “good is the enemy of great” and progress is the key with such a young team. Well done Poppy!
Lewis was the last in our team up for kata and he was on fire. Without doubt the best he has performed each kata in the ring. A great Kanku Sho to start, then an excellent Unsu followed but a very explosive, precise and controlled Gankaku to make it to the final. Then up against another excellent kata athlete in the final who did Chatanyara Kushanku. Lewis did Sochin in the final to attempt to play strength and power against his opponents speed as Lewis had already used his ‘fast’ katas in earlier rounds to ensure we got them in before the nationals for ringtime. Again a inform Lewis performed the best Sochin we have seen him do to date and on a split decision his opponent took the gold this time. A very well deserved Silver and with result focused tactics, opposed to Lewis development in mind who knows what could of happened in the final! Well done Lewis.
By the time we got to the Kumite the event was running considerably behind. Heidi was up first and after the delays her head wasn’t on it in all fairness. Heidi has been in form of late and this wasn’t the girl we have been used to seeing. The lack of food and long delay saw her get in the ring mentally fatigued and some bad decisions cost her unfortunately.
George was next up and it was the same story for him too. In all fairness all George wanted to do at one point was sleep and we had to try and keep him going for when his event was called. Giving everything he had as usual George rushed in a few times and was made to pay.
With Poppy on next she was rearing to go! Our tem captain is someone you can always rely on to ‘bring it’ in the ring and that she did. Taking on a bigger opponent in the first round she used the ring well and scored some very well timed points. The second round she fought the eventual division winner and showed her class by pushing her to the wire. Poppy defended well and looked to counter but narrowly missed a few opportunities and her opponent then got through her guard which was enough to take the bout. A great performance from Poppy though showing real progression in the still new 14-15yrs division for her.
Archie was called next and with the biggest delay of the day (4hrs’ish) e took to the ring and showed a champions spirit. The first bout Archie won convincingly and this set him up nicely for the next couple of rounds confidence wise. Archie made the quarter finals and met the eventual finalist. His opponent was without doubt the most committed to his attacks in the division. There’s been times in the past that this would of intimidated Archie in all honesty but Archie was the first off the blocks and got him on his heals from the off! this in itself is a big step for Archie and one we are proud of him for! Unfortunately his opponent did nick a point and take senshu and this left Archie chasing and his opponent managed to use the ring well and defend his lead. After the delays and Archie’s spirit in the ring star of the day certainly goes to him! Well done Archie!
Lewis was last up and after his great display in kata was ready and rearing to go…
On the way over to his ring he stumped his toe and couldn’t move it and made movement and sitting in his stance very difficult as he couldn’t put his weigh ton the ball of his foot. Fair play, he still wanted to fight and give it a go but it wasn’t the Lewis we normally see and things didn’t go his way. Such an annoying injury but a very hampering one in the ring to be fair too. Unlucky Lewis.
So all, in the order of the day is going back to basics. Ensuring nutrition and hydration is properly executed throughout the day so that performance isn’t hampered if there are long delays (delays are normal, but 4hrs is a long time to children in all fairness). Mental spirit and fortitude is required and something always on show with the guys but without proper hydration and nutrition fatigue will set in and bad decisions can result. We could look to blame the delays but at the end of the day every competitor had those delays in each respective division. Those who dealt with it best got the best results. Excusitis is rife out there and by ensuring you control what’s within your power to control (yourself being the biggest of those things) and not looking to external factors that you have no control over you can maximise your performance and ultimately your results. A good lesson learnt the hard way for some but a good lesson all the same.