Monday, October 3, 2011
Karate Competition and Tequilla; They Don't Mix
I awoke in the morning with an awful hangover. Unable to eat due to nerves (a problem that would plague me for years) I arrived at the tournament - I believe there was a two-hour drive involved - and sat with 20 other nervous white belts.
After much waiting I stood up and managed to get through the kata, "Taikioko #1," without throwing up. Not only didn't I win, I didn't even come close. I was mad.
Sensei had a saying, "Don't get mad, get even." I had already been training hard. Now I stared training harder. Not only did I attack the heavy bag in the dojo, I also kicked the oak tree at the bus stop where I waited up to 20 minutes every day. And I did the kata many, many times.
The next tournament was in Connecticut, also a long drive - but this time with no hangover. I performed "Taikioko #3. I did it strongly. I did it with a loud kiai and a mean facial expression. I ended up facing backwards and improvised an extra move because even though none of the judges were from Goju-Ryu Karate I knew that they knew that there isn't a style in the world that ends up facing the opposite direction from which it starts.
And that was good enough for a large, shiny third-place trophy. I hugged it all the way home.
To read about my tournament record see: