Monday, October 19, 2009

Sugito City Championships 2009

Erica here.

Last Sunday, October 18, Louise and I participated in the Sugito City Competition. It was a very small one, consisting of about 200 competitors for 4 different clubs. It took place at the Takanodai Elementary School.

l-r Louise & Erica with their medals & tournament result certificates.

Louise in kata action.

Interestingly, Louise and I were the only adult females in the competition. So for kata, we got put into the men’s division. I was in the adult coloured belt category which was made up of 5 people, myself included, while Louise competed in the adult black belt category which had 3 people. I made it through 2 rounds to get into the finals and there I won my first gold medal in Japan! Unfortunately, Louise had a very tough opponent in her category and did not advance to the finals for kata.

Then came the exciting bit: kumite! Because Louise and I were the only adult females competing, we went straight into the finals to have our match. We waited until the very end when all the different divisions had finished with their preliminary and semi-final rounds and we filed into the gym with all the other finalists in a big procession with music playing and everything. I must say, this was the first time I had such a grand entrance to a final round! With the entire gym watching, each pair went up and fought their hardest for first place and everyone cheered them on. When it came for our turn, I went up hoping to score at least one point during the 2 minute match. Louise won of course and our end score was 4 – 9. Yatta!! Personal victory for me =) It should be noted here that this is Louise's first gold medal in Japan too!

Misaki Yoshia from Shiramizu dojo - an up and coming kata champ who has won her junior high school division at the Wadokai Nationals plus had her kata profiled online by JKfan magazine.

The each age division's kumite finalists line up against each other for the final event, which is a show of each final round one after the other going from youngest to oldest.

l-r Erica vs Louise in kumite.

Kids from the dojo!

Smiles are a good way to end the day.

Because more than half the competitors were from Shiramizu, many of the matches had fighters going against a member of their club. I guess it further motivates them to do better since there is pre-existing competitiveness for some of them (especially with the junior high kids). There were smiles and there were tears and everyone put in the best efforts.

Everything ok? The Japanese sign for everything is 'ready to go' that someone far away

can see is to make a circle above one's head with one's hands.

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