Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our Very Own Karate Kid

A week ago, Saturday the 22nd, Kai had a Karate Tournament in Grappling. Grappling by definition, in martial arts, combines techniques that rely on grabbing and controlling the opponent using body leverage as a way of achieving the supremacy through take downs, pins and submissions, as opposed to striking martial arts, that focus on knocking out and/or hurting the opponent. Along with many other skills, Kai has been learning these techniques for the last 6-8 months. He has competed in a few informal tournaments against his classmates and done pretty well.

On this weekend was a tournament where all of the students from the Little Elm Karate School competed against all of the students from the Carrollton Karate School. The students were matched according to their belt rankings and then matched as closely as possible to size. Kai is a green belt and he was competing against other green and orange belts (which is one belt class below a green).

Each match was 3 minutes long. Each maneuver, pin or takedown was scored at 1 point. There was a time keeper, a score keeper and a referee. The referee determined who scored the point. In Kai’s first match, he was up against a boy very close to his size and at the same belt class. At the end of the match we were tied 3 to 3. We went into a 1 minute over time. At the end of the first minute we were tied again, now 4 to 4. We went into another 1 minute over time. This time, neither boy scored, thus we were still tied. We entered our 3rd one minute over time and both boys scored 1 point each tying the score at 5 to 5. I am telling you, I was on the edge of my seat.

These boys were tough! They were growling, red faced and sweating. Both of them wanted it. Both of them knew that in a tournament, the first time you lose, you are out. Considering this was a first match for each of them, neither was giving up without a strong fight. The referee, judges and instructors consulted one another. They were perplexed in how to proceed because they had not anticipated these boys continuing to tie up the score. The agreed we would move into a sudden-death round. This is where there is no time limit and the first boy to score a point is deemed the match winner.

Talk about pins and needles. I never expected to be so “into” Kai’s Grappling but this was fun and intense! I knew he had it in him to win this. He is really, really good at this aspect of Karate. In the sudden-death round, Kai was tired and it was starting to show. Jeff and I just kept rooting him on. “Stay strong, son, you can do it! Keep moving.” Next thing we knew, Kai had the first point and he won that match! Whew! I was exhausted and proud!

Kai went on to match up against all of the rest of his class. He is one of the younger and smaller boys in his class but he did not let his size hold him back. He continued to prevail until the last boy was standing. This boy was somewhat bigger and was 3 belt classes ahead of Kai.After a tied match we went into two overtimes and took 2nd place. We were so proud of Kai. Not for winning but for the attitude and determination he maintained throughout. Below is a picture of him giving a High-5 to one of the boys he just beat.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like he did great and it looks like he really enjoys it!