Upcoming Karate Tournaments and Birthday Ramblings

Well today (5th February) is my birthday, and I’ve turned 34 years old. I guess getting close to mid-30’s should feel pretty old, but actually I’m feeling pretty good about it. So far I haven’t really felt bad about getting older. That’s not to say I haven’t noticed changes. My metabolism changed when I hit 30 and I just couldn’t eat whatever I wanted and still stay thin like I used to be able to do. I had to actually work at it and watch what I ate a bit more (I do love my food).

However since starting Karate at Black Belt Martial Arts about 2 years ago, the training alone has definitely helped keep me fit and keep me thin. I haven’t really had to do any extra exercise except the karate classes to maintain my weight. My wife Kate has been a great help and inspiration though too. She started doing some serious exercise (mainly on the treadmill at home) last year and lost a lot of weight in the year. Along with that we’re both eating better, eating healthier and staying off the junk food (well, mostly!).

Please continue reading as I ramble some more and talk about some upcoming Karate tournaments I plan to enter.

Having kids also helps to keep you feeling young. I had kids quite young compared to most people these days. I had 3 kids by the time I was 29. They’ve helped me have a great day today.. lots of cuddles and drawings and cards. They were keen to help me blow out the 34 candles on my cake but I took care of them no problems 🙂 I also had a lovely lunch with Kate, without the kids! They were all at school today (it’s Abbey’s preschool day) so we had a nice lunch at Iguana Joe’s.

I took a new photo of myself with my 12″ telescope last week at home. Mike Smith from Bintel wanted to run a piece in their latest The Night Sky newsletter about my recent Smiley Face Conjunction image that appeared on APOD. I’ve also used the picture to update the About page here.

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Onto other things Karate, there’s two tournaments coming up in a few weeks and I’m planning to compete in at least one, and maybe both of them.

The first is the NSW AKF Sydney All Styles Karate Cup. It’s on the 1st March and is apparently pretty full on. The best athletes compete in the AKF tournaments and the best judges judge it. They have 3 divisions – 10th to 5th Kyu, 4th to 1st Kyu, and Open. I’m currently 4th Kyu so will compete in a tough division against guys one step away from reaching their black belt. They also have weight divisions, under 70kg and over 70kg. I’m currently right on 70kg so I’ll need to make sure I lose 1/2 a kilo before the event. While the smaller guys will be fast, it’s probably a better prospect than fighting 100kg guys who could pick me up and dump me too easily 🙂

I’m really looking forward to it – it’ll really be a huge challenge for me, but Shihan Lliam is a great teacher and I just need to remember what he’s been teaching me and not allow my mind to go blank like it did in my first tournament! I have no expectations about doing well in the tournament, but I should learn heaps from just being there and competing and watching those guys that compete regularly.

The second tournament is a week later on the 8th March, and it’s a National All Styles event. Apparently the NAS events aren’t as full-on as the AKF events, but it’s still a step up from the IBS tournament I competed in.

I felt I’ve made a mini breakthrough with my sparring training with Shihan Lliam the other week. Something just clicked and I’m feeling much more confident, more comfortable, faster and smoother. It may not materialise in the heat of competition but I’m hoping I can take a step back, think, relax and then execute.

Anyway I think that’s enough for tonight. I felt like writing, so I sat down to commit these ramblings to ‘paper’. (oh and I didn’t feel like watching Grey’s Anatomy ;)).

Thanks for reading and thanks to my friends on facebook and IceInSpace for their birthday wishes.

‘night.

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