My First 1st Placing in National All Styles Round 4

On Sunday, 23th August 2009, I competed in the National All Styles tournament at Ryde, NSW. It was Round 4 in their event calendar, and my third NAS event for the year after I competed in Round 1 back in March and Round 3 back in June.

I competed in the Open Continuous Sparring, the Advanced Intermediate Forms (Kata) (3rd Kyu – 1st Kyu), and the Advanced Intermediate Point Sparring (3rd Kyu – 1st Kyu). I’m currently a 2nd Kyu, so was up against black belts in the continuous sparring and people around my level for the other 2 events.

Cutting straight to the good news, I won my Point Sparring division! I placed first (out of 4 competitors), winning round 1 with a score of 5-2, and round 2 (the 1st/2nd playoff) with a score of 10-3. A still image and the video of my first place in the 1st/2nd playoff is below. (I’m the one starting on the far side, in the red gloves).

Scoring with Mawashi-geri (roundhouse kick) to the head

Scoring with Mawashi-geri (roundhouse kick) to the head

Please continue reading for more commentary, images and video from the National All Styles Round 4 event.

Point Sparring

Starting with 4 competitors, I went in fairly relaxed and was confident that I’d been training well and was fairly well prepared. In the first round, I went up against a much shorter competitor so I knew he would have to keep pushing in. I kept my distance and countered each of his techniques with a kizami-zuki (jab) or gyaku-zuki (reverse punch). I got him with a kick to the back but for some reason I was “unofficially warned” because I didn’t retract it!? So it didn’t score. The judge in the corner that saw it thought it did 🙂 I won the first round 5-2 to move into the 1st/2nd playoff.

Scoring with a Reverse Punch to the body

Scoring with a Reverse Punch to the body

The second round (playoff for 1st/2nd) was probably my best sparring match to-date. For a long time, I’ve wanted to use more kicks in the sparring matches, and for the past few months (since NAS 3) I’ve been working hard on my kicking and it finally paid off in this match. I scored twice with mawashi’s to the head, and another with a side kick to the body.

I was able to judge the style of my opponent quickly and adapted to how he was fighting – he pushed straight off the line and allowed me to simply anticipate him coming in. Shihan Lliam (my sparring instructor at BBMA) has done a lot of work with us on anticipating off the line, with mawashi’s and side kicks – so I hope I’ve made him proud by putting into practise what he’s been teaching us!

It was my first 1st placing in a karate tournament, so obviously I’m really happy with how I went. I’m not sure I’m ready for the Open Black Belt Point Sparring division yet, but hopefully soon.

The video from that match is the one at the top of this post.

Continuous Sparring

The continuous sparring was my first event for the day, and unfortunately I faced up against the best competitor first up (Ben Cunningham). I felt it was a pretty evenly matched round, but watching the video back I can see he was the aggressor and scored with some easy kicks to the thigh which I didn’t know counted (so I just let him do them LOL) 🙂

He won that round and ended up going through to win the whole event. The way the draw was structured (there were 8 competitors), I didn’t get to fight again unfortunately. The guy that came second was a TKD competitor who I beat in NAS#3, so I feel that with a different draw I may have been able to fight for the 1-2 playoff, but it wasn’t to be.

Man the continuous sparring really takes it out of you – fitness is king with this one!

Lunging Jab to the head

Lunging Jab to the head

Kata (Forms)

There were 5 competitors in the Kata event (3rd-1st Kyu), and after everyone had performed, I was in a tie for 3rd so the two of us had to do the kata again. I was fortunate enough to edge the other guy out the second time around, in a very close event.

The first place winner in this event was a Kung Fu guy who did a very nice form – it looked very interesting and very difficult – there’s no way I could stay so low for the whole time! My legs would give way 🙂

I performed Heian Godan again (as usual LOL) and was reasonably happy with it, but I want to learn a black belt kata for next years events.

Heian Godan Kata

Heian Godan Kata

And that wraps it up for NAS for the year (for me at least). I am elligible to compete in the NAS State Titles, but they’re being held on the weekend that I’m away for the IISAC star party (18th October). That also means I can’t compete in the NAS National Titles, being held in Melbourne in November (because I have to attend the State’s to be elligible for the Nationals).

Nevermind – maybe next year.

Overall I’m happy with how I went and I’m progressively getting better with each competition. There’s always something to take away from it and things to improve on. No injuries and so far, very little soreness – so that’s a bonus too!

Thanks to Matt for coming down to watch and for being the camera man again! I look forward to competing with you (and against you LOL) next year! 🙂

Thanks for reading.

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