Central States Karate Tournament – 2014

Most of Team Spartan that competed at the Central States Karate Tournament.

Most of Team Spartan that competed at the Central States Karate Tournament.

In November, Michael competed in the the Central States Karate Championships. He competed at the 8-9 year old red/brown belt boy level in both form and sparring.

The tournament was held at Fridley High School. It was a great location. It has a “sunken” style gym, which was great for this fairly large tournament. Instead of everyone having to cram around a certain ring, spectators could stand on the upper level and not only have a great view of their competitor’s ring, but could watch what was happening in several rings. Several competitors from Team Spartan were competing in adjoining rings, so we got to cheer for many at the same time.

Michael did really well. He seems to often get his name drawn to be first in form. I still can’t decide if this is an advantage or disadvantage…. He just rolls with it.

041It’s been interesting watching him at each tournament. His first tournament, he went super fast. Another one, he didn’t yell enough. I can’t wait until he remembers to slow it down, sharpen his moves a bit, and get his power yells in (which will force him to breathe). He will be hard to beat when he does! He’s got incredible technique and flexibility. When he kicks above his head, I’m amazed, every time!

He won his first sparring match, but lost the next one. The judges missed some key points for him. Other parents around me said so too, so I know I’m not just biased. I know the judges are human, they are going to miss points… knowing this doesn’t take away the frustration. While it would be fun to be a ring judge, I also think it would be very difficult. They are the ones who often take the blame when points are missed…

054He had some tough competition, and took 3rd in both sparring and form.

After the tournament, I was talking with Master John Lysaght, of USA Karate. He said something to me that I wish I could help Michael understand. As he gets older, has more practice, and matures some, I think he will learn this. John said that when he was younger, his points were often missed, because the judges didn’t see them. He had to learn to make sure his points were scored in a way that they couldn’t be missed. It means being more intentional with the placement of your kicks and punches. It also means making sure they are large enough, and exaggerated enough that not one of the three ring judges could say they didn’t see it. My experience with competing, is that this is easier said than done. Practice, practice, practice…

The next tournament for Forte’s Karate isn’t until February. There are some really exciting things in store for that tournament. I can’t wait! 🙂

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