On the first day of 2013, I was twenty-five days away from being awarded my black sash. Barring a mistake of colossal proportions or a horribly-timed injury, it was a sure thing.
On the first day of 2014, I mulled over being eleven days away from the first tournament of the year that I can drive to, if I choose to spend the money to enter. Not only is an award far from a sure thing, a bona fide competition isn’t a guarantee either.
In my last tournament appearance, I was the sole competitor in my event. All women over thirty-five in the room were either the mothers of child competitors or judges. I wound up competing against a Siheng from my own school to justify my being there at all. But until I was told there were no others in my events, I was practicing all out in a roped-off square arena half the size of the floor space normally used, enjoying trying to make it all fit and look good at the same time.
I think I’m better outside my school building than in. I’ve said before that my skill never seems to show when it counts – but that’s mostly in front of my kung fu family. Strangers get a higher quality. I don’t know what that’s about; I just know I like to compete.
Bottom line is: it’s going to be a challenging year in my martial arts life. I’ll either be gambling on wasting money on tournaments that provide limited or no competition, or I’ll potentially be without measurable kung fu goals of any kind. Either way, I’ll still be training. And every year that starts with that reality is a good one.
January 2nd, 2014 at 12:23 am
You can’t win if you don’t try…good luck.
January 2nd, 2014 at 12:37 am
True. I just wish I could be sure there’s competition.
January 2nd, 2014 at 12:23 am
Nothing is a ‘sure thing’, go for your goarls by all means but just bear that in mind so you don’t get too disappointed.
January 2nd, 2014 at 12:43 am
Of course – but it would be nice to know I have competition before I write a check and hit the highway. 🙂
January 2nd, 2014 at 1:57 am
sure that’s common sense what I mean is life in general
January 2nd, 2014 at 1:42 am
I can totally relate. I am a Cho Dan in Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan. I competed in a tournament last spring an was the only sparring competitor of my rank AND age. All the other women who were of my rank were in their late teens to mid-twenties. I did my best and got my ass kicked but made friends for life. I held my own for a while, but youth won. I test for Ee Dan in April. It will be a challenging year for this 46 year-old. At least I know there is another middle-aged martial arts practitioner who will experience similar trials. Good luck to you. I can’t wait to read more from you throughout the year.
January 2nd, 2014 at 11:42 pm
Thank you! Good luck to you as well. Always happy to meet a compatriot. Thanks for reading!
January 2nd, 2014 at 11:44 pm
I am quite sure now we have Martial Arts sisterhood in common we will be contacting each other through out the year. 🙂
January 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm
Hiya, thanks for the Like and comment! Best wishes for 2014! x
February 2nd, 2014 at 3:57 am
I’m a 52 year old, three months into studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If I get to the point where I want to compete, there’s probably no-one to fight here in the UK. To compete against people my age (Senior 4 in BJJ terms), my weight and at white belt, I’d have to travel to Europe or the USA. Fortunately, just training at all is enough challenge to keep me fully occupied!
February 2nd, 2014 at 9:44 am
I never thought I’d want to compete, but like the art itself, once I got a taste of it, I found it very satisfying. It’s a great way to know what those who’ve trained longer than I have think of the quality of my training. It isn’t a more important measure than my own assessment or my Sifu’s, but it’s one I appreciate. As long as I can train, I’ll be happy. Good luck with BJJ, and thanks for reading.
February 7th, 2014 at 2:23 pm
Thanks for your positive response to my blog. I’m always amazed at anyone who has the stamina and discipline to learn martial arts! Good luck.