A New Experience
by, 11-09-2011 at 01:51 (2280 Views)
It is brisk outside, as the pale blue light of dawn listlessly breaks through the curtains of a foreign room. I can hear the dull lull of the motors from cars on the nearby freeway. It is 6:15 am and I have been lying quietly in bed now for 23 minutes pondering the soon to come events of today. Forth most upon my mind is my first fight. Being honest with myself I realize that I am anxious, slightly intimidated, eager, and desperately hoping for the invigoration that comes with a new outlook upon Karate. I expect this day to change my whole outlook and approach to Karate-Do.
It has not even begun, and I can already feel that odd feeling come upon my. This is not fear or anxiety. No this is different. It is as if I can't hold the suspense. I do not want it to be over. No I want to enjoy every minute of it. I simply need it to start so that I may relax and bask in the experience. I pan around to soak it all in. I see the vendor setting up her goods. The announcer tests the sound system. The judges are getting the feel of the area. Many competitors are trickling in, a few are even warming. Most of them seem familiar with one another. That is an advantage I do not have, because right now I sit at the top of the bleachers alone. I sit in anticipation of the moments to come, while trying to enjoy the moment I am in.
We have been weighed in, assigned our competitive categories, and our equipment has been tested. I personally have been waiting in the 'staging' area, as many of the younger competitors go before me. Then it happens, they call my division. That is when the feeling surges through me, "Oh man, this is what I need."
While I was the muck of things, nothing really hurt. The whole engagement was a whirlwind of emotions. Frustration when I could not land a solid hit, worry when I felt the connection of a well placed technique, and confusion with the rules being called out quickly followed by anger at myself for breaking them. The foremost emotion was frustration though. I felt inhibited the whole time, out of place, but as if I were doing exactly what I was suppose to be doing just in the wrong way. In the earned I received, rather I earned, what I needed. I now know what I want in Karate-Do, and consequently what I need.
For the first time I felt truly at peace with myself in the competition aspect of Karate-Do. I was able to give it my all, try to employ strategy, not be stopped by an ineffective blow. I simply found I wasn't able to give it my all, and my strategy went out the window as soon as the first kick landed. When the ruling came out I earned second place among 4 competitors. No great achievement, but a taste of experience that I earned none-the-less. An experience that will always be mine. I am actually happy that I did not earn first, it helped me cement the fact that I have much more to learn. There are hundreds of hours that need to be dedicated to not only Kumite, but refining my Kihon, and conditioning my body. I am beat up, hobbling around, and I only had two fights. I am beat up and hobbling around, but my spirit is glowing and my vigor for Karate-Do s renewed.
Rather than being happy with myself for having earned second, I displeased with my lack of experience, poor technique, and conditioning. I am embarrassed to know that I have claimed to have been studying Karate-Do, when I have been missing this crucial aspect of Karate0-Do all along. I am upset, not depressed, not angry. I am pretty banged up, my ankle is numb and my left should has a sharp pain as a result of muscle spasms, but I got what I needed. Through the exchange of blows, occasional violations of the rules, I was able to walk away (it took a while for the pain and injuries to sink in) with a little scrap of knowledge. A tiny, but brilliant idea on how I am to train, and most of all a glimpse into a new aspect that is, for me, the Do of my Karate-Do. This was my first Knockdown Kumite.