My First Karate Tournament Tomorrow!

Well i’m very excited, albeit nervous excitement! Tomorrow I enter my first Karate tournament. It’s an all-styles tournament run by International Budo Sport, the IBS Nationals. All-Styles means any style is welcome – any forms of Karate, Hapkido, Tae Kwon Doe, Kick Boxing etc. all competing together.

I’ve been learning Shotokan Karate with the Black Bert Martial Arts school here on the Central Coast for the last 22 months or so and I’ve really been loving it. The school is run by Shihan Liz Mahler and recently celebrated 21 years on the Central Coast. I’d never really thought about entering tournaments before – probably a combination of lack of skill and experience and just no real desire; I’d really only been doing Karate for the fitness and confidence.

But for the past couple of months I’ve felt a bit of an itch to enter some tournaments to see how I rate against other people of other styles and grades.

I think it has helped to hear my friend Michael Little (who I work with) talk of his and his fiancee’s experiences in these tournaments (he does Hapkido). On top of that, for the past 8 weeks or so I’ve been doing a sparring class with Sensei Lliam Worthington (a former Australian Champion), one of his private students (who is an amazing sparrer) and a bunch of black and brown belts.  Sensei Lliam is an excellent teacher and some of the tips and tricks he’s taught me has helped my sparring confidence enormously, and I feel i’m now ready to see how I go in some tournaments.

So tomorrow is my first – it’s not rated as a particularly high-level tournament but that suits me fine this time around. I’m happy to ease into it gently on my first time out. I’m entering the Intermediate grade for Kata and Point Sparring. For the Kata i’ll be doing Heian Godan, which is probably the flashiest of the Hiean Kata’s. And the Point Sparring should be interesting – I don’t know if it’s knockout or round-robin, I don’t think they figure that out until the day depending on how many registrations they get. I might end up sparring against my friend, Michael! Now that will be interesting 🙂

I have no expectations – I really don’t know how i’m going to go. I just hope I don’t get eliminated in the first round 🙂 Either way, it’s going to be a great experience and I’m sure i’ll learn heaps from it. 

After Tuesday’s sparring class, in which we did 90 minutes of footwork drills, the balls of my feet had the skin worn away and I just couldn’t walk on them for a day! Very painful. I skipped Karate on Thursday and today just to let them recover before the tournament – I didn’t want to reinjure them or open up any old wounds before tomorrow 🙂

Hopefully someone I know will have a video camera there, so I can have my matches recorded. It’d be great to watch again after and analyse where I went wrong 🙂

Anyway i’ll post again when it’s all over and let you know how I went.. wish me luck!

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