SO Close

My dojo competed in the battle of the 7 Cities Tournament yesterday.  My daughter competed, and she did alright.  Got a couple of finalist medals out of it.  My other students did well.  Had a few get some trophies.  The demo team did well, and put on a good show.

I competed at the end of the day.  I was a bit tired, but I shook that off.  My family was there and that was extra incentive.  Most of all, it was my birthday, and I wanted that forms championship belt.  The last few years, a Tang Soo Do stylist named Jerry has been dominating in the forms division.  Nice guy, but that's who I was gunning for.  He wasn't there, so it was pretty much wide open.  There were still a lot of strong competitors out there, so I knew I had to bring out everything I had.

The weapons division went horribly.  I hit a slick spot on the floor and nearly fell, but managed to catch myself and continue.  But that slip cost me dearly and I was completely out of placing.  No problem, I'd just make up for in in the empty hand competition.

I did Hakutsuru for my kata and this was the first time I'd used it in competition.  Usually I did a combination of Hakucho and Shiho Kosokon.  That's scored well for me, but I knew I needed to take things up a notch.  I was one of the first three up, which usually isn't a good thing.  But that fine because I had my form ready.  Its a white crane form and I got out there, and well....

I killed it.  Just threw the gauntlet down for everyone to try to catch my score.  There were a lot of those guys who came damn close too.  Seriously strong forms out there.  It the end though I got first place and it was on to the grand championships.

My dad and stepmom had to go, but they saw me win, so everyone was happy.  On I went with the four other division winners to see who gets the belt.  I was to go third.  No problem.  The first girl was pretty strong.  The second girl was someone who I've competed against a few times, and she's very good, but she slipped in the same spot I had slipped in the weapon's division, and she managed to catch herself as well, but it cost her in the scoring.

I got out there and put everything I had into the kata and it paid off.  My scores were strong, but would they hold up against the last two guys?  They went out there and nailed there forms and I'm running the numbers in my head.  They both had me beat.

So, much to my surprise, after all the scores are calculated, i get announced as Grand Champion.  I'm floored.  They call me up, and i stepped forward like a kid who thought he might possibly be in trouble for something, but they said I won, and the look on my face had to be one of a man who was utterly perplexed. This was what I was after, and all I could think was "someone's math is off".

Here comes the tournament promoter with the belt, and the cash prize money.  I've known this guy for years.  He's honestly excited that I finally won the grand.  The missus is one her cell phone calling my dad.  She excited.  I'm sort of excited, but it all just seemed so wrong.  Then I saw one of the other competitors looking at the scores.  He, rightfully, called for it to get re-checked.  

Scores got recalculated, and then with tons of apologies, the belt and cash prize went to the guy who won the weapons division.  Now, the guy who called for the scores to get checked did not win, nor did he think he had, but he knew something was wrong.  The woman who slipped also wanted the scores rechecked because she trains with the promoter and wants to make sure everything's above board.

But again, lashings of apologies from everyone, and no belt for me.  Ah well.  At least I got to touch it.

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