Last Sunday I competed in my second Karate Tournament, the Sydney All Styles event. It was run by the NSW-AKF and was a huge step up from the first tournament I competed in, the IBS Nationals back in November last year.
I’ve got a video of my first Kata and some stills from it, but unfortunately no video of my sparring as the battery went flat on my wife’s digicam which a friend was using to record.
Continue reading to watch the video, to read more about the day and about the upcoming National All Styles tournament this Sunday!
I arrived early on Sunday morning at the Whitlam Leisure Centre at Liverpool, and found the draw had me down for Kata at 9am and Kumite at 4:45pm! And not only that, but there was only 1 other person in my sparring division (under 70kg 4th Kyu-1st Kyu). I certainly didn’t want to wait around all day for that. Luckily, Kyoshi Liz Mahler was able to get the timetable amended and my sparring match was rescheduled to about 12:30pm.
So on with the Kata. I had only prepared 1 Kata, Heian Godan, thinking it would be like the last tournament when you get scored and that’s it. But that wasn’t the case! It was a knockout style ladder where you progress through the rounds so you need to have well prepared 2 Kata’s so you’re not doing the same one every time. I hastily practised Heian Nidan to have a second Kata available.
As it turned out, neither Kata was good enough to place. The guy I went up against was a 1st Kyu and performed a nice Jion Kata followed by Bassai Dai – 2 Kata’s we usually don’t learn until black belt. I was out of practise and it showed. You can watch the video of my Heian Godan kata below.
I really wasn’t well prepared for the Kata part of the tournament and didn’t give myself the best chance of doing well. I hadn’t practised it nearly enough during the weeks leading up to the tournament and my rustiness showed. There’s a huge difference between someone who has given the Kata the respect it deserves, and one who hasn’t. Lesson learned for next time.
Onto the sparring. Unfortunately there was only 1 other guy in my division, and it was the same guy I met in the Kata! A young 1st Kyu who was fast and knew his stuff.
I felt like I was better prepared for the sparring after doing lots of sparring training with Shihan Lliam Worthington on Tuesday nights, but again it wasn’t enough. I was beaten by a better competitor on the day who put me under pressure and I just didn’t react with the right mental attitude.
The 2 minute round seemed to go very fast and was over in an instant. The final score was only 2-0 so it was a close match. I felt I got a couple of scoring points on him, but they weren’t awarded – the scoring in the AKF tournaments is much, much tougher!
Shihan asked me before the match what my game plan was.. and I didn’t have one! I didn’t anticipate against the pressure fighter and didn’t take the opportunities that were there.
So put that one down to another learning experience. Hopefully I can take some of that experience into the NAS tournament this weekend. I’m competing in the continuous sparring, kata and point sparring. Should be very interesting, that’s for sure!
Thanks for reading.