This past weekend, was the Wild Wild West Texas Karate Tournament. This is our tournament to host, well, our dojo's anyway. This year I took on some of the registration and tracking jobs. Let's just say the things that need to be done on the computer. Did I take on more than I should have? No, just took me a bit of time to get them done because I was learning at the same time. Will I do this next year if asked? Of course. If Larry and Terry think I did a good enough job and ask me to do it again I will. I still have some things to learn but I also learned some things to do differently to make the process flow a bit better.
Frank, Mattie, and myself all participated in the tournament. We tried to get Katie to do some breaking but she didn't. But she did run those long legs of hers all weekend. And I mean run. She was at our beck and call all weekend and she did a great job. But she needs to learn to delegate a bit more, but I think that also comes with experience (age) and it will be easier for her next year.
We had some great personal accomplishments for all of us. But I want to focus on what I believe was Mattie's personal best accomplishment this weekend.
A few weeks ago, Larry asked her if she would sing the National Anthem to kick off our tournament. That little toot didn't even take a breath before she answered "Of course I will Shihan!" So we began practicing. First with clips from Youtube with either the words or a person or persons singing. Then we just found some instrumental pieces for her to practice with. She never got discouraged while she was practicing, but most of her practice sessions took place in the car between home, school and the dojo. Time is very limited around tournament time as I'm sure most of you know.
One day she told me she really didn't want to sing with music, so she started practicing without it. And she was doing great. The Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem) is not an easy piece of music to sing for an adult that has been singing it forever, much less a six year old child that has only a couple of weeks to learn it. But she was determined she was not going to let Shihan down. My biggest fear for her was not remembering the words, but getting a case of stage fright. She would be performing in front of 365 competitors and their families/spectators after all, probably about 600 people in all. Yes, this grandma was a bit nervous!
Friday night, she did get to practice in front of a smaller crowd during the breaking/grappling/continuous sparring part of the tournament, but that was at the dojo in front of mostly our own families and friends, not many strangers.
How did she do? Well watch the following Youtube and you judge for yourself.
WOW! I love the crowd's reaction! She had a few mistakes, but I think she did great. Her placing her hand over her heart, she did that herself! We had concentrated so much on learning the song we forgot to remind her of that. But like any proud American, she remembered and did exactly what she was supposed to do! The child has no fear! I know she will go on to accomplish great things.
Until next time: