Today's Verse

Monday, May 30, 2011

Belt Test 05-28-11 Green to Red

It has been a busy week, but it wasn't over yet.
Shihan had to squeeze a belt test in between tournaments,
and today was the day.
Even though it was on a Saturday,
still got to sleep in a bit because
it didn't start until 11:45,
thank goodness.

She's giving a little pre-test concert (hehehe)!

Three cutest kids in the dojo!

Shihan changed some more things in her kata,
so practicing one last time before
her test begins.

My Little Dragon green belt on last time!

Getting ranked up and ready to begin.

Stretches and warm up,

into the splits.

Attila the Hun fact review
(didn't know anything about Attila could be funny,
but she said something!),

(Yeah, she knows she did something cute!)

Dojo motto's,

stranger danger/self defense,

front roll,




and finish with breaking.

Off with the old...

...on with the new!

Must have a hug, a high five just won't do!

My Little Dragon Red Belt!

My favorite part of every class/test.

I'm hoping I get a shot like this for every belt test until she reaches black!
Just thirtysomething more to go!!!!

Seriously, what is up with always having to make a goofy face?!
LOL - Goobers!

Hope you all have a great rest of the three day weekend!

God Bless!

OH! Katie got a new job! Starts on Tuesday! Thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Her Last First is Her First Last

Do you remember this picture?
It was posted just nine short months ago.
It was her first day of school- Pre-K.
Four years old.

Well since then, I have shared many firsts first with you -

First day of karate
First day of soccer
First Ranger baseball game
First school field trip
First soccer goal
First school pictures
First belt test
First time being a flower girl
First karate demo
First karate tournament
First letter from Santa
First school party
First plane ride
First trip to Disney
First puppy
First time with the flu
First date night
First sparring trophy
First pedicure
First breaking trophy
First talent show
First kata trophy
First first place trophy
First article in the newspaper.

Whew! I'm tired reliving all that!

Well today was her first last day of school. Yesterday they had graduation and today was the final day. She was happy but sad at the same time. She is ready for a short break, but she was really sad to tell Ms. Torres good-bye. She is retiring this year, but even with that, Mattie May still wouldn't see her any more because she will be at a different school next year.
She will be at either Austin or Taylor, we are just waiting to see if her transfer was approved. This year was spent at a school with children all her age. Next year, there will be Kindergarten through fifth grade at which ever school she attends. She will also miss the class room. This child loves to learn. But we have plenty of things for her to learn this summer.
She will also be attending karate camp every day.
She will have so much fun.
They work on karate but they also do fun things like swim, go to the zoo, go to movies, and yes there may even be a trip to six flags in there!

So here is her first last day of school picture!
Where did those dogs ears go?!

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mongoose Open Championships San Antonio 05-21-11

And a fun trip it was! We missed Grumpy on this trip. He stayed home to fish our TBC West region tournament and did well himself! We three girls left Friday afternoon. The drive was nice even though I was a bit uncomfortable. I "threw out my rib" as Dr. Ken put it, fixing my hair and coughing at the same time. But Katie really stepped up and did all the lifting of luggage and anything else I asked her. She really does take care of her momma when she needs too.

When we got checked into the hotel, we had to make a run to Target to pick up a few things and on the way back to the hotel Mattie May fell asleep, which meant Katie and I would have to wake up a little earlier than normal to get her a bath and ready for the tournament. We were a half a mile from the river walk and in a historic building. Katie later learned that we were staying in an old jail! Glad I didn't know that when our TV kept turning off! I might have been a little frightened! I'm used to working with Annie, but who knows what the ghost of a prisoner/jailer would be like! LOL

We had our usual breakfast at the hotel. Mattie May said she wasn't very hungry, so we packed a little extra with us just in case.

The gym was really nice with the seating in the upper section. We found a place on the floor where we could be closer to the rings/mats, but not sure where she was supposed to be. There were no ring assignments posted. We had to listen for her divisions to be called. Ugh, what a pain! Oh well, nothing we couldn't deal with!

Mattie May and Katie - - - waiting.

Mattie May sat very well and listened through the rules meeting, but the wait grew long as the black belts went through their competition. And the demo division didn't start until after that, which made for a very long day.
Mattie May and Rayven being themselves. Who knows what they are talking about.

Finally! Time to line up for kata. I think I counted 16 in her division.

Looking good! She was good and loud.

Coming down from her second rooster kick. They are looking better, but Lolo needs to work on her photography skills to get one in action instead of the end of it!

Good form. I love the concentration on her face.

Those splits are still getting better, but I'm not quite sure why she is leaning forward or why she looks like she is in pain.
She started strong and ended strong but had a few hesitations in the middle. We expected that. Shihan changed up her kata a little last week trying to make it a little more difficult, and it needs to be. It will stay as it is for a while then he'll add a bit more.

She didn't place in kata which is OK, I was just disappointed that her scores were so low, especially compared to the competitor whose instructor asked for permission to enter the ring to help! Oh yes, he sure did! And Mattie May's score was the same as his!
Oh well! Like the commercial says
"Live. Learn. Get Luvs!"

After a short break and a PBJ sandwich, it was on to sparring. Getting some last minute coaching from Shihan.
Eighteen kids in this division and Mattie May was in the next to the last pairing. This little boy was in the last pairing. I was wondering if she would have to fight him. We'll just have to wait and see.

Round One
I think she has met this boy before. I remember him but don't remember him fighting. They are ready to go.

Good kick, but still dropping her hands. She is moving her head though so she is not getting as many points lost to head shots. She got these points and went on to win her first round 5-0. I had to text Frank. He was sitting on pins and needles wanting to know how she was doing.

Round Two
Again, I remember this boy, I just can't remember her fighting him. He was a bout a head taller than her but she held her own. She won this round 12 - 7! Frank's text?
"Kool! Keep Kickin' Butt!"
He doesn't have a competitive bone in his body! LOL

Round Three
Now I know she hasn't fought this boy before. He was taller and heftier, but she walked out there with all the confidence in the world. She did great. Shihan was there and I was so glad. He had to stop the fight three times! Twice they wouldn't move them back to the middle ring at the break and Mattie May was in the corner. You can't set up in a corner without taking a chance on getting a foul for stepping out of bounds. The third time was for face contact. The head judge called face contact three times and the boy should have been disqualified on the third one. Shihan didn't realize that the second one wasn't counted.
So she lost this round 12 - 7.

So, do we think she should have fought for first and second - Yes
Are we biased Yes and No
Yes - 'cuz she's our Mattie May
No - 'cuz had the three face contacts been counted she would have advanced.
Did Mattie May try her best - Most Definitely!
She fought a fair fight and that is the best she can do.

Presentation of Winners
I love the look on her face. We knew she was getting third, but she didn't. I love how you can see the anticipation in her eyes.

And third place - - -
...Mattie May!

With her trophy

We are so very proud of this child. I talk about how she is improving every week, but there is a lot I don't say. She is learning the rules, and that some try to get around them or don't think they apply to them. She is learning sportsmanship, and that not everyone has it, especially adults. She is learning respect, respect for her fellow opponents, judges and the adult spectators that haven't actually figured it out yet. These are things that will follow her no matter what she decides to try to achieve in life. We get complements on her all the time.

I have more to tell about our weekend in San Antonio. We did more that just karate this trip.

This weekend we have a break from tournaments but not from karate. She has another belt test on Saturday. If she passes, she will be a little dragon red belt. I'm sure she will do fine. On Sunday she will be attending a friends birthday party at May Farm, her most favorite place in the world. On Monday - No School and No Work! Yes we have a three day weekend. Her next tournament is the first weekend in June in Austin. Back to the state capital! Yay!

God Bless!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Matte May is in an Artcle in the Newspaper!

This article ran in the Abilene Reporter News today (May 19, 2011).

So proud of all these kids.
They have put in a lot of time training,
most of them by their own choice.

Congratulations to all of you!
You deserve it!

(I have a picture, but I'm going to see if I can't get it to run in the paper before I post it here!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

20th Anniversary Houston International Karate Championship 05/14/11

What a trip! Long. Tiring. But so very worth it. We left about 10:00 AM Friday morning and headed south. Mattie May did great for such a long trip and for being on a time schedule. She has made long trips before, but we usually aren't watching time and can stop often. But this time, we really wanted to be in Houston in time to relax, eat, swim, and get in bed at a decent hour. We only stopped twice on the way, once for something to eat and once for fuel and a pit stop!

Saturday morning started early, for a Saturday it was early. We had a yummy breakfast at the hotel, picked up Julie and Zachary, then we had to locate the tournament location and get her signed in, she was preregistered, but you never know how long you'll have to wait in line. Thankfully, it went smooth and we had her at the rules meeting in plenty of time. While she was listening to the rules, Grumpy found her ring assignment and found the ring so we were good to go.

I think there were about 18 kiddos in her division. Huge! What did we expect? This was Houston after all!
Lining up to bow in.

I know I'm biased, but why doesn't she get extra points for cuteness?
Just look at that face! LOL

Good. Loud. Clear.
Facing the judge.

A tad off balance, but good concentration.

She did her best in kata with just a few minor places being off balance.
But it wasn't her day today - her participation medal.
This time something different - BREAKING! This is her favorite thing. She had worked really hard this past week, staying late every night at the dojo working on her hammer fist, elbow and foot stomp. But for reason's beyond Shihan's control, she only participated in first time breakers.

Great foot stomp, but look at that board leaning on the front cinder blocks.
Yeah, it should be in two pieces.
For some reason the child tried to do a palm. She has never done a palm
Crazy kid! She has a mind of her own!

Second place and we couldn't be more proud.
But she promises, next time she will do what she practices!
And she did ask if she could try the board again, and she broke it!

And on to sparring. Again, a huge division. I think there were 17 and only three girls! They broke it up into two brackets with the winner of each bracket facing each other for the championship. We were a bit confused at first because they didn't tell us this, but we figured it out.

Lining up to bow in.
I'm sorry, but again, look at all that cuteness! I just love it!

Watching Rayven in the Intermediate/Advanced division.
Those two girls crack us up.
Typical girls; best friends one second, mortal enemies the next!
But they do love each other and support each other.
I love listening to them cheer each other on.

AOK doesn't allow coaching once the competitors are in the ring,
so Mrs. Terry is giving her some quick instruction before she goes in.

"Touch Hands"


She did really well on her first fight.
We have really been after her about her form - kick, punch punch!
If you notice, her hands are down in this picture, but she has taught herself to duck her head.
Her opponents missed several points because she would move her head.
Whatever works as long as it's legal!

Lolo messed up! My batteries ran out and I didn't have any spares! So what few pictures I have are from her first round. And how did she do? Well...

Remember, I said this was a huge division and it was broken into two brackets. Mattie May surprised us all! She won four rounds in her bracket with only one minute to rest between the third and forth fight to win her bracket and place her in the championship fight! And again, only one minute to rest before that fight.

At the last minute, I flipped my phone to video deciding if I drained the battery it would be OK. So as they say on the news...


That's right! Mattie May won! The tape shows, so I don't need to tell you that we were a bit excited! I think all that jumping was when I twisted my ankle. Frank was so excited he couldn't quit laughing. And Terry was louder than any one around! Mattie May has been improving but we never dreamed she would win against that large of a division. This is one proud grandma!

Remember this post when I said it's so good to have your name called?
Well it's even better when your name is called last!
Love that smile!

Getting ready to bow out.

Perfect bow!

Her first place medal!

I know your asking yourself "No Trophy?"
No! Not at this tournament.
Here they win bicycles!
That's right! She won a bicycle.

We are so very proud of Team Abilene. They brought back five, let me say it again, FIVE bicycles to Abilene. They took the big city by storm! I have said this before, but I am going to say it again - we are so new to this and learning something at every tournament, but I can't imagine having her at any other dojo in town. AMMA teaches their students how to achieve with hard work, encouragement, and discipline, but most of all, they love each and every student that walks through those doors. Thank you Shihan Larry Fields and all your staff! You are the best!

Now to prepare for the next tournament. It's back to San Antonio and the Mongoose Open Karate Championships. And if our plans don't change, we will also be visiting Fiesta Texas! It's good to relax after all these tournaments!

I hope you have a fantastic week. God Bless!