ciroccoj: (black belt tae kwon dos)
[personal profile] ciroccoj
Went well. Mostly. Justin wasn't there, as he was camping, and I was kinda glad about that. He gets so into it, and wants so much to win, that when he doesn't it's devastating to him. I walk around with a lump of dread in my stomach until his matches are over :(

  • By far the coolest thing ever in the tournament was Daniel's sparring, his first time as a black belt. He got silver. Not just silver, but a match that made us so incredibly proud I just can't even.

    So he starts, and it's going pretty well, and then I start to notice he's getting in there and blocking and scoring and the other kid has the reach on him but Daniel's just hanging in there, go go go go, and at one point he does this amazing double kick and from the black belt teens table I hear a "Whoa! Daniel!" from our star sparrers, and oh, wow, and the senior black belts are paying attention to a match that nobody expected would be this good...

    Halftime comes, he gets some advice from one of our senior black belts, and then he goes back and the second half is very very good, but not as spectacular as the first.

    And then the judges are gonna give their decision, and I'm so incredibly proud of Daniel because that's the best he's ever sparred but the other kid just got more points, and I prepare to tell Daniel that even though he lost he did really, really well, and then it's unanimous Blue, which is too bad because I thought it was pretty close so I hoped the judges wouldn't be unanimous and it would've been so nice to see even one Red flag but oh well --

    Wait. The ref just held up Daniel's hand. Was Daniel Blue?

    He was. He won!

    "You're kidding!" I blurt out, and then clap my hand over my mouth.

    Happily, Daniel didn't hear me. Some of the other black belts did, though, and laughed at my lack of maternal confidence.

    Daniel ended up losing the gold medal round, but holy crap. First time as a black belt, and he wins silver. Wow. Wow.

    Quite a few of the higher-ranking black belts came to talk to us afterwards, and to congratulate him. The common thread was, "I've never seen you do that well. That was excellent. Keep it up!" The head of our branch even pointed out how awesome he'd been to the first class back after the tournament. OMGsoproudofmykid.

  • I was judging for the first time ever, and I hope with forlorn hope that it'll be my last time ever too. There are five judges for patterns, four for sparring, and I didn't mind so much when I was in the minority, even when I was the only one voting for the Blue competitor in a wave of Reds or vice versa; some of what you're judging is subjective, and it's nice for losing competitors to not face a unanimous sea of votes saying they failed.

    I did mind when I was the sole dissenting vote in matches that I could've sworn were slam-dunks :/

  • There was a tremendous life lesson taught in my first set. One of the kids messed up his pattern, badly, was eliminated, had a hard time not bursting into tears, and withdrew from the sparring competition.

    His teacher gently persuades him to re-enter sparring. Kid goes into the ring and almost immediately gets a hard hit to the face. More almost-tears, kid takes a few breaths to recover, heads back in...

    ...and wins gold :) :) :)

  • Chris was eliminated in sparring, but had to do his pattern three times in a row. He only lost to the last competitor because the guy was just naturally graceful. Oh well. Silver is awesome too :)

    I was kinda glad he got eliminated from sparring, to be honest. His group's matches got really, really uncomfortable - in one of them, the ref told both competitors that if they didn't tone down the aggression, he would have to stop the match.

    Yes, sparring is about scoring hits on your opponent. But they shouldn't draw blood or bruise bones. They definitely should not result in three bouts where Red Cross is called in to make sure no permanent damage has been done.

    We're not fighting to win a war or avenge our dead parents' honour here, you know? "This is supposed to be for fun," the ref had to remind them.

    Which, really, grown-ups should not need that kind of reminding.

  • I won two bronzes, which might sound impressive until you find out there were only four competitors in patterns, and three in sparring ;)

    So, yeah, medal for last place, W00t!!

    I was reminded of Daniel's summary of his very first tournament in the first post-tournament class, many many years ago:

    Black belt: And Daniel, how did you do?

    Daniel: ::cheerfully:: Well, I did my best, but I was still crushed like a bug!

All in all, really good tournament. It's a very different experience from colour belt to black belt. Already looking forward to next year :)

Tomorrow is Chris's black belt test. Next weekend, for the first time in I don't even remember when, there will be no taekwon-do done by our family for an entire weekend. Not sure how we'll cope with the disorientation ;)
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November 2012

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