Austin, Texas!!!! I love this city!! The capitol city of the Great State of Texas! I am one of the few people around that can say they have been as far up in the rotunda as a person can go. This was many years before they shut it down to tourist and I was a senior in high school the last time we were allowed to go up that far. I can also say that is the first time I realized that I was afraid of heights! I don't really remember how they got me down the spiral stair case, but they did! I have a few pictures from our visit to the capital building on this trip that I will post later. But now, let's talk karate.
We are still very new to this sport and we learn something new with each tournament we attend. I always compare them to track meets; you spend a lot of time waiting for your child's event, enjoy about 30 seconds watching them before it is over, then it is back to waiting for the next event.
This affects Mattie May more than it does some of the other participants because she is only entered in two events. We don't enter her in the demo event any more and she is not ready to be in specialty forms. But she will get there. Because she does spend so much time waiting, she looks like this a lot of the times... Yes, that is a yawn. I wish I could tell you she was cheering on a team mate or even singing, but no...it is a yawn! LOL
This time she was to have been last in her forms (Kata) but because a little boy went when he was not supposed to and the judges missed a little girl, she was second to last. As with anything where you are judged, the advantage with being last is 1)you are the last thing the judges see and 2)they are more free to score you higher because they don't have to wait to see what is coming up.
Now I'm not saying that this would have helped her win anything. If you look at the following pictures, you can see she needs some work on her forms.
See those thumbs? They are not supposed to be inside her fist.
I know! She's only five! But so are the other competitors and some younger than that! She competes in the 5 and under division! But it is just like any other sport, get rid of the bad habits while they are young!
So I'll make you think about where she placed in this one - there were five competitors, they awarded four places and she didn't get a prize! But we really know what she needs to work on now!! And she is getting better every day!
Now on to sparring. And again, this just wasn't her day! Here she is getting ready for her first round. Let me know if you see anything a little strange in this picture...YES! That is one tall five year old! Now I'll tell you, Mattie May is not the tallest child we've ever had in our family and I know a five year old can be tall (Katie was always tallest in her class), but this kid was really up there! The perspective of this picture does make him look a little taller than he really is, but...
...it wasn't just his height, he had some amazing skill for someone in the beginner division! But Mattie May did not seem the least bit intimidated, so the fight ensued.
Kick #3 - finally realized she was standing wrong, but the damage was done.
Look at Momma's face in the background! He did to her exactly what we had been telling her all week to do, three strong kicks and the round was over.
Now, in this grandma's opinion (and I have more to say on this in another post) I don't think she really stood a chance against this boy. But I was very proud of her for staying in there and trying. Did she try her hardest - probably not, especially after that first kick. Did she ask to quit - absolutely not.
I will tell you, when she came off the mat and took off her head gear, she was definitely not happy. And once Grumpy asked her if she was OK, she started crying and told us that first kick really hurt her stomach. Some of you will probably think we are terrible, but she did the right thing and finished the fight.
After the tournament, I had wanted to get some pictures in her gi in front of the capital building (yes, I had permission!) but this girl was hot and tired. I did get one cute shot even though she looks more like a dancer than a martial artist... And she was a little miffed at me because I wouldn't let her get IN the fountain! She and I both have some practice to do!
Her next tournament is right here at home (yeah!)! The Tumbleweed Karate Championship on April 15 and 16. Breaking will be on Friday night at the dojo and forms and fighting at Sears Park Rec Center on Saturday. Mark you calendars and let me know if you want tickets!