A Little Friendly Competition

We spent most of today at the dojo for the annual Autumn Inter-Dojo Tournament. Dave was competing for the first time and Em was competing in Kumite for the 3rd (we think, we’re having trouble remembering) time.

This was a rare opportunity to grab a couple of pictures of Em at the Dojo. Our Sensei is a very, very traditional Master and he has incredibly strict rules that include no photography or video inside the Dojo unless given specific permission.

The rules were still pretty tight. Cameras only allowed during juniors competition, and all photography equipment must be put away as soon as adults stepped into the competition area.

Em, as usual, started the day with a belly-load of trepidation. She’s prone to nerves.


Then she managed to get in a little stretching to focus and prepare for her Kumite.


There’s a lot of bowing in the dojo.


I did not get any photos of the actual match. Sparring for points moves incredibly quickly, and I was really focused on actually WATCHING her without the camera between us.

I grabbed a photo of her afterwards, though, and she was very happy with her 2nd place metal and relieved that it was over for another year.


Junior competitions were mostly finished by lunch, so the kids were having their lunch and then playing around while the adults went through their competitions.

I caught my kids being NOT FOCUSED ON THE TOURNAMENT. Lego at the Dojo is one of their favorite distractions. They do not have Lego at home, and show no interest in starting a collection, but they love this ragged old bunch of Lego bits and pieces that get to be occasionally pulled out for quiet moments.


Ok, here’s where I admit that I was sneaky and grabbed a few pictures of Dave in his Gi while it was still allowed. It was certainly in the gray area…he was an adult, which means that photography was less encouraged, but he was not competing and it was still during juniors…~laugh~ I didn’t cheat, I just worked creatively.

And, yes, Em comes by her performance anxiety naturally. Here’s a picture of my husband in full-concentration mode. He’s trying to calm the inner turmoil…~grin~


Dave also came in Silver during his Kata competition. His was actually the largest single division at the tournament and he had some very tough competition. He did not place in sparring, and is already trying to figure out how to better his standing for the next competition. Sparring is tricky, though, because everything happens so fast and it really is part skill and part lucky timing. Even the best fighter can have a bad match and lose really quickly.

We’re very invested in our Dojo. Somebody’s there 4 nights a week, nearly every week. I have a feeling that Karate is going to be part of our regular schedule for a long time to come.

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