This Saturday we had three participants in the Regional East Competition in kumite. Samir was in the cadet class while the other two, Dan Are and Kim, ended up in the Senior +75kg class. Kim was supposed to be in the recruit class, but the only other participant had withdrawn from the competition. I was trying myself out as a coach for the first time, and Maren sensei got to be both Judge and Referee during the competition.
During the night between Friday and Saturday we were lucky to get to sleep in one of the local clubs dojo to save some money. This dojo had several training rooms with mirrors, sand bags and all different kinds of equipment. A bit different than our small dojo with pink and yellow walls that makes your eyes burn.
Even though sleeping on a mattress and padded floors I don't think many of us got that much sleep. But the lighting in the room when the sun came up was priceless. In the morning, most of us had nerves and could hardly eat breakfast (yes even the coach was nervous!).
Samir's class started first. He did a really good job in the two bouts he was in. He did a great throw in the first bout, but alas the opponent protected himself too good to be scored upon. The bout ended in Hantei, and due to lack of initiative Samir lost. In the second bout he went up against an opponent who had a really quick gyakuzuki. But Samir gave it his all and tried is best. In this bout his opponent was quicker, and Samir got on fourth place.
Next up was Kim in the Senior class. For being his first bout in a competition he did a really good job. He dared to stand his ground and counter attack. He attacked with some really good gyakuzuki that he sadly didn't get any points for.
Dan Are's first bout was over before it even began. The opponent was several heads higher than Dan Are, and he rushed in and got eight points within 15 seconds of the bout. Dan Are got so surprised that he didn't have time to do anything. His second fight went better, and here he got to attack and do some combinations.
As for my participation as a coach, I don't think I did the best I could but I also believe I didn't do a bad job. Seems like the major complaint was me talking too low, so they could hardly hear me. I also need to train myself to see what the opponent does, so I can come with tips for the person I'm coaching.
Even though we didn't get any medals, this competition was really good for everyone of us. We got to see how high the levels are in other clubs, and what we can do to make us better.
I think everyone did a great job, and found some strengths and some weaknesses that we all can work on until next competition. It was well worth the long trip, and I'd happily do it again!
Picture from: www.grimstadkarate.no