The Fighting Spirit

Tournament Reflections:

I always get extremely nervous when entering any type of competition, or performance. So naturally, the support of friends mean the world to me. Before we get into the deets of the tournament, I just wanted to say that I am SO thankful for those we made the trip to Merced with me, and some who drove alone just to watch me compete. Its those types of gestures that I’ll remember.

I competed in Individual Traditional Kata, Team Kata, and Sparring. I placed 1st in Ind. Kata, 2nd in sparring, and our team placed 1st in our division. I was runner up for Adult Grand Champion for Tradtional Kata. We tied, and we both decided to do show of hands for the winner. I lost to a Gentleman who trained in Shotokan…he had SO MUCH POWER. I would love to learn how to generate more power in my hips! Great person, with a lot of knowledge to share in such a short amount of time.

So…where to start? Overall it was a very humbling experience. Competing with beasts of martial artists tends to have that effect.

Here’s the video for my Ind. Kata and Team Kata. Enjoy! Critiques and feedback are always welcome and appreciated! πŸ™‚

After performing our Team Kata, I was tightening my ankle brace when a mom and a little boy came up to me. His mom congratulated me and said I kicked butt (Aww), and then proceeded to take her seat. The little boy stayed though, and asked what was on my foot. I told him “Ohh, I hurt my ankle a few years ago, its is to help prevent further injury! Be careful when you train, okay?” He responded with an exasperated “OoOoh…” Then, trying to spark some conversation I asked what he trained in, and what he was eating. He said “RICE KRISPY!…be right back, stay here!” He then ran to where is equipment was, and grabbed a bag of Doritos! LOL…and offered it to me! I told him “Oh no no no, its okay! That’s for you to keep your energy up!” The boy insisted I take it. And oh my gosh. He gave me the BIGGEST puppy dog eyes EVER. So…I took his Doritos and he ran off hella happy. Gosh I love kids. They’re so pure in their intentions. πŸ™‚ I always speak about small things that people can do to make someone happy…this was one of those moments. πŸ™‚

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have livedβ€”this is to have succeeded.”

-Ralph Waldo Emmerson

A little off topic: It makes me proud that I could overcome different obstacles in my path. One of my friends laughed at me the other day when I jammed my finger playing bball. I told her that I don’t get injured, and when I get hurt, I see them as mere inconveniences. πŸ˜‰ And like any inconvenience, you have to move on, because there’s nothing you can do about it, anyway!

The feedback from this weekend was positive, so I think that its safe to say, I am improving. πŸ™‚ Its one thing when you put your heart and soul into training, but when others notice it as well, you feel that you’re invincible, and on top of the world! But now, its time to train even harder than before. Can’t wait until the next Tournament. Until then, FIGHT ON! πŸ™‚

I know you guys were waiting for it…pictures! Enjoy πŸ˜‰

Photographs by Scotty Asai & Stephanie Louie


24 thoughts on “The Fighting Spirit

  1. Congratulations on your medal haul! Must’ve felt so good to be back on the mats after such a length away πŸ˜‰

    I really admire the way taekwondo develops flexibility, you’ve definitely got that by looking at your kata video! My style is different, and being in Japan means that competition style is very traditional – setlist kata, NO music, etc – but could see some similarities πŸ™‚

    Well done for competing with the ankle too- know what that feels like! When I first came here I was nursing a torn ankle ligament from playing… Badminton (Oh, the shame!). It was still tender going into the first tournament, but managed to get a silver πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to the next set of results πŸ™‚

    • Hello Sensei Pete!

      Thank you so much for the support. πŸ™‚ It really felt nice competing again. It was like coming back home. And it was really cool seeing a bunch of fellow martial artists that I haven’t seen in a while, as well! Yes TKD definitely trains for flexibility, though I definitely need to develop stronger side kicks…they looked a little weak to me!

      Ahhh, I reallyyy want to visit Japan someday and train. Its on my bucket list. I’ll definitely go before I hit 30. πŸ˜‰ How is training for you?
      Haha Badminton is a lot harder than it looks! It requires quite a bit of athleticism! We seem to be the stubborn ones that still train with slightly messed up ankles. Oops :p

      I hope all is well! πŸ™‚

      • Hey Kristin,

        Haha, I don’t think I have the right to be called Sensei yet, I am still only 2nd Dan! πŸ™‚

        Just an observation, but with sidekicks- the majority of them in your kata was with your weak ankle on the supporting leg. When you kicked with your strong ankle on the supporting leg, your kick seemed stronger. To help take pressure off your ankle, Perhaps you could try bending your knee a little more. Also, when you kick, your upper half tends to lean forward a little So that your body is in a ‘V’ shape. In traditional karate, the best way of generating power in a sidekick is to keep your shoulder, hip, knee and foot in one straight line when the kick is at its maximum extension. Maybe I will do a small YouTube video as an explanation, ha ha ha!

        Training in Japan is amazing! There are so many opportunities to train here, and the quality is crazy good. If you do come to Japan to train, I would definitely recommend Kyoto; this is where a really strong karate athlete called Ryotaro Araga has his dojo right now. I’ve never been there myself but I know that there are many high-quality athletes coming from that area at the moment!

        Of course, you are very welcome here in Tokyo. If you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods it would be great to train together! You can show me some of your flexibility training in exchange for some traditional karate kata πŸ™‚

      • What great insight on the side kicks! I would love to see a video on that. Once you make one, please link it to me! πŸ˜€

        I will let you know when I visit, I would love the opportunity to train with you. Is it hard to communicate to your peers/Sensei? And yes, we will exchange training methods! πŸ™‚

        Thanks -Sempai- Pete πŸ˜‰

  2. That combined form is sweet~ I love how it shows your diverse background and respect for multiple styles! You have awesome kicks, too–congrats on the wins! πŸ™‚

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