Friday, April 18, 2008

Tournament time

Tomorrow is my first TKD Tournament...

As I've whined blogged in the past, I haven't been chomping at the bit to attend one of these. Part of that is an irrational fear, I realize, but it is high-time I meet that challenge.

In fact, I am confident I will hold my own. For starters, I will compete in 2 of the 4 possible events being offered: Poomse (forms, a/k/a kata if you prefer the Japanese term over the Korean) and Sparring. There are also weapons competitions and breaking. Board breaking is something I do, something I do pretty well, in fact. But to rehearse breaking involves several items, including

  • wood (duh!)
  • People to hold targets, at a minimum 2
  • spare time

There is no point in an adult breaking boards suspended on cinder blocks: kids do it, that's fine, but to break a board being held by hand is certainly more impressive: one of my fellow students will perform a double-front kick (breaking two separate boards), a speed-break with his hand, and finish up with a 540° spinning kick. Now that is a performance. If he succeeds in all four breaks, I can't imagine him not taking a trophy. Speaking for myself, I could probably achieve all but the 540° kick. And since MBH is not excited at the thought of my breaking any boards she (or our 12 year old son) holds, I'll pass on breaks this time around.

Weapons is something our school (dojang) doesn't teach at all, so that's off the table.

And as far as the sparring, it's a points tournament, meaning it is designed not to be an all-out, no-holds-barred fight. Of course, as I am in the Senior division, the number of potential competitors will be limited by the number who are:

  • male
  • at my belt level (3rd gup)
  • over 35

In my school I know 2 such guys: one is a 40 year old electrician, the other is +55 retired Marine. Both punch as if their hands were bricks.

Additionally in my favor, I usually spar somewhere around 7:30 PM, after a full-day of work and commuting. The tourney begins at 10AM, with the sparring beginning some point after noon. So at least I won't be exhausted... that's gotta count for something.

So it is quite possible I may do well, even better than I expect.

Time will tell.

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