Today's Verse

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!

No comments: