Sunday, May 13, 2007

White Dragon Tournament

Yesterday was our annual martial arts tournament. I did just ok this year, winning a few events, but not doing well at all in my sash-level events where i've cleaned up the past couple of years. I did win my open form competition, which i was happy about since it's my hardest form by far (siu ba gua). I even managed the lotus position without falling over. I did a little better in combatives this year, losing a split decision in the championship match for my division. I thought i had won, but at the end of the regulation time, the judges called it a draw and made us fight another 30 seconds. I also won my first-ever tai chi event, which was a major surprise.

Our school was second again this year, although i think we had the most cumulative points (the place is based on points per student). Our kids division ruled again, winning the top 3 spots for a second straight year.

Tournament is a nerve-wracking, but worthwhile event. Doing a public performance of a familiar form or technique completely changes the psychological game. Your pace speeds up despite your best efforts to go slow. Your feet seem to have a mind of their own. You start thinking, and it takes away your instinctive movement. It's brutal, but like competitive fighting it gives you a good sense of how technique can go out the window in a pressure situation.

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