Twin Cities Rumble 2018

Recently, Michael represented Forte’s American Karate, White Bear Lake, in the 2018 Twin Cities Rumble. He hasn’t competed much since he got his black belt, but he decided to do a couple of tournaments this year. I think he was nervous, because once you are at the black belt level, it doesn’t matter what degree you are at – all black belts compete against each other within their age division. Now that he’s a few months from getting his 2nd degree black belt, I guess he decided he was ready.

Black belts from both White Bear Lake and Wyoming, waiting for their turns to compete.

Michael is 12. This is an awkward age for boys. Some have had growth spurts, some have not. Michael has grown over 4 inches since September, but is still in the middle of the other boys in his age division. Typically, he has been in a fairly large division, so they divide them by height. In one tournament, Michael was the tallest of the shorter kids’ group (though, they were all within an inch of each other). In the Rumble, he was the shortest of the taller boys’ group. The rest of the boys were about an inch (if not two) taller than him. Luckily, he’s used to sparring his teacher that is about 6 ft. tall.

Some Forte Karate black belts stretching. Michael, Natalia, and Sarah.

When I got to the tournament, Michael told me his back was hurting. It sounded like some sort of pinched nerve. I gave him ibuprofen,  and hoped the adrenaline would kick in, and he wouldn’t feel it. While he was waiting for his turn to spar, he and some friends were warming up, stretching, etc. It seemed like his back was ok, so I didn’t think any more about it – until his first match.

Michael is really good at kicking. He’s quite flexible, and fast, so he usually has no problem getting in the zone for points. Kicks are worth two points, punches are worth one. His whole first match, I don’t think he kicked at all! I guess his back was bugging him more than I thought. 😦  Michael did not win his first match.

These two boys were pretty evenly matched. There were many clashes like this one that resulted in no points.

The second match, Michael fought very well. He remembered to use his legs, and didn’t seem to be in any pain. The match was tied, the other kid got a punch in, and then “TIME!” was called. Michael lost by one point. That match could have gone to either one of them. I enjoy watching sparring matches that go back and forth, or continue to get tied up…

All in all, the competitors from both of Forte’s schools did very well. Many of the black belt competitors from our schools placed in the Top 3 in their divisions. It was a long day. Many of them them helped with judging, score keeping, or time keeping in the mornings, and then waited for hours to compete, as their divisions were quite large. They didn’t let it get to them, and worked hard.

Here was a nick block by Michael. He blocked the kick, and scored a point with his punch.

 

Another great block by Michael. You can see by the look on his face that he was ready to get kicked in the head. 

 

 

Michael saw this pic and thought his kick looked good, but said he needs to work on his hands.

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