Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Preparing for AUSKF Nationals


This coming August, I will be participating in the AUSKF Championship in Atlanta.  The tournament is a very big deal here in the United States.  Every three years, each regional federation chooses people in their area to represent them by participating in the tournament.  Naturally, that means that each federation will send what they consider their strongest Kenshi to vie for the top spot and bragging rights (to an extent).  Taking this into consideration, the fact that I will be participating in something like that gives me feelings of happiness, excitement and some nervousness as well.

The fact that I’m participating in this is something that I’m not taking very lightly.  This is a great opportunity to learn a lot of new things about myself by putting myself in this situation, and come out a stronger person in character and ability.  However, knowing that I will be going against some very strong Kenshi from other parts of the country that I’ve most likely never fought before at a tournament in which I want to represent our federation’s and my strengths does fill me with some feelings of nervousness.  I may be up to the challenge, but will I improve enough by time the day comes?  Will I be able to fight in the manner I want to and, whether or not I win, come out of it pleased with myself by knowing that I did myself?  These are really great questions that, unfortunately, won’t be answered until the day comes.  At the same time, I know that preoccupying myself with questions like these really doesn’t help matters, since it really has very little to do with the actual steps I need to take to improve myself, and it also casts doubt on myself, which will only bring myself down to where I don’t want to be.

At this point, all I can do is do my best to augment my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses.  Through past experiences of successes and failures, I have been able to identify what they are at this point.  Of course, through training, I’ll most likely discover new things about myself that I need to learn to deal with before, on and after tournament day.  Whatever the case, I’m prepared to cross those bridges when I get to them.

The biggest lesson that Kendo has taught me is to face unknown challenges head-on.  Opportunities open up for a reason, so it’s best to walk in those doors if I plan on moving ahead in my life and career.  This is something that has worked quite well for me at work.  Now I must go back and use what I learned from Kendo…in Kendo.  Despite how I’m feeling at any given moment, I am ready to face the challenges, successes, failures and frustrations that tend to come with this kind of training.  It is funny how some lessons can come full-circle like that.

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