Wednesday, November 01, 2006

2006 MWKF Tournament in Chicago

Now that I have a few minutes away from my everyday life (not really but I'm shoe-horning the time in my schedule), I can finally type a blog about the tournament this past Saturday.

The tournament was really fun. Four of us hopped into the car at around 6:15 and drove to Chicago for the tournament. We got there "on time" but the doors weren't open when we got there. As a result, the actual tournament didn't start until around 9 since the people still needed to set up. I didn't have much of a problem with it though as it gave us a little time to relax after taking the 2 hour drive there.

It wasn't just the 4 of us that went though. There was a total of 13 competing and another12 - 17 people that came to watch. This is the largest group that came to the tournament so that made me happy. It's like we had our own cheering section, lol. My parents had expressed interest in coming so they decided to fly up from Atlanta to see me fight. I was expecting them to be a little bored because there really isn't much going on, but they said that they had fun.

I expected the Mudansha division to start first as it usually is at the few tournaments I have been to. But they started from the top of the totem pole with the 3rd dan and up competitions and went down to the junior, senior and women's division. After lunch was when I finally was up.

My parents went to lunch a little early so they could be back in time to see my first match, but they ended up not making it due to lots of things going wrong with their situation. They were very disappointed, but I consoled them since I still had another match to go. Besides, I didn't do all that great either since my hits were very weak and cost me the match. I was shocked because I thought I did decently in the previous Thursday's practice in holding out well. There is something about tournaments that seem to tire me out quicker. It might have something to do with a lack of sleep and driving, but I'm not entirely sure.

After a few more hours of waiting after losing my first match, the team matches started up. Because I wasn't part of the full team, I had to pair up with Paul from Georgia Kendo Alliance and some people from Minehaha dojo in Minnesota. I always seem to have fun with this as I get to meet more people and see different styles of fighting. Our fight was against UW which Paul got the one and only point for the team. I wish that we won the fight though cause there is no better beating than getting one from Chicago Kendo Dojo team A since they are very good.

After that, the tournament run for me was over so there wasn't much to do but watch. There were some awesome matches in the final rounds so it was a nice treat to see what my potential could be if I practice for a long time. After everything was over, we did the closing ceremonies, took pictures, packed up and went home.

I was pretty dissapointed, but not surprised, about my performance. I wish that I was able to last a bit longer, but I have this thing called college that keeps me away from Kendo for a while due to having homework to finish. I have decided to do whatever I can to practice more though. Realistically, it might be a bit of trouble to bring my Kendo gear with me on the plane for the holidays so I can use that time to do some cross training with my wrist and cardiovascular system. It also wouldn't hurt to view more matches from different levels to see what to do and what not to do and to view my performance. I do have lots of video taken at the tournament, but due to lack of equipment and time to use the resources, I might have to wait until the Thanksgiving holidays to copy it to DVD and edit the video to make it pretty. I was still happy to be there though since I have met new people and put faces to the names of people on the Kendo World forums. It was also nice that my parents had fun although it didn't go as well as they wanted it to. They plan on going to the one next semester (usually in Cleveland). Hopefully I can give them a better performance by then so we'll see.

Before I go, as per a promise to myself to leave with some random stuff, I bought a heel pad which makes stomping a bit easier. My parents also bought me a hat that says Kendo on it. I have been wearing it for the past few days since it's so cold outside and I can leave and eat breakfast and go to class without fixing up my hair. My parents also bought some little Kendo hakata dolls to put around the house.

Well, I've spent long enough on this entry. For pics, if you are on facebook, they are in the pictures section on my account. For those of you that don't have facebook, I'll post a link to my flickr account as soon as I upload them there.


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