Saturday, April 14, 2007

Whoops and SCORE! (a novella with photos at the end)

Today was the last big regional tournament in this area for the tournament season. It was at Lincroft again, but this time is was just a B tournament, which was fine. As long as I can have the opportunity to get some points!

Rather than go very early, I got there around 12:30 in the afternoon. They wouldn't be calling for the adult color belts until at least 2:30, so I had plenty of time. I went and got some lunch, but nothing too heavy so I wouldn't feel sick or anything like that. Sandy arrived at about 1:15 or so. In comparison to other regionals I had been to before, including the other B tournaments I'd been to before, this one seemed rather small. Then again, anything was smaller than that A tournament we went to last month, but even I felt like this was smaller that last year's B tournament in Lincroft, or the Montgomery one last July. Even Sandy said it seemed about the same or a little smaller than the one I missed in New Brunswick. Alas, we walked around, talked with other people who were around, checked things out, and practiced, of course. When Sandy showed me her new JB routine, I started quaking in my sneakers a bit. It's a REALLY good routine, in my opinion. What really got me shaking in my shoes was that she had a good release move and would catch it nicely and consistently. While I have a release move in my SN routine, it's not like that. And she always does things gracefully, but still with a powerful purpose, because, after all, forms and such are supposed to be one-sided combat, and she is one of those people who is very aware of that, and similarly, shows that when she performs.

They actually called the adult color belts almost on time, which was a huge improvement over last month. The guy who was divving up the groups was having a difficult time. White/Orange/Yellow were separated out off the top like cream, but that's to be expected, and that was fine. But then rather than divide up everyone from there into age groups, he was dividing them by camo-blue, then brown-red-red/black. THEN, he'd filter by age. Before that second filter, there was a 19 year old in our group. Hey, that's not fair for me, someone who's just about 20 years older than her, to compete against her!(God that makes me feel so old!) Somehow, even with the second filter, it wasn't working, and SW, being that she's the RCT of the event and region, was brought in, and it ended up like it usually is-- all camo through red/black in an age group. HELLO!!! So, in the end, we had 6 in our group. Four of us did weapons, so that was good.

Now the rundown of events:
Forms: I thought I didn't do too badly, BUT I did lose my place and stopped and I'm sure that cost me points big time. From my own estimation, I came in 6th. :-( However, the scores were middle of the road, so it makes me think that I might have done a pinch better had I not stopped and forgotten my place and then picked up and continued. Oh well. I wasn't too worried about that one. For Sandy, oh, she was robbed again. She does forms so beautifully, and she did CJ#1 vs. CJ#2 that she's been doing so long. I know she had had some issues with balance and jump kicks before, but that was absolutely not the case today! She was SO on top of it all. In the end, she tied for 2nd place, and won the tie breaker. Yah! So she placed well in that.
Weapons: Sandy had her kick butt JB routine, and I had my SN routine from before (hey, why change what works?). The other gals, Kim and Kathy had a JB and SJB routine respectively. I'm sure Sandy wasn't too thrilled that there was another JB there. Kim's JB routine was good, but it seemed to be more about whirling the JB around than actual strikes and stuff. Sandy had that cool release move and she did her whole routine really well. Kathy did her routine, but it seemed more like a bunch of drills than anything with a lot of movement. Well, here's the kicker-- Kim, Kathy and I TIED for 1st! OH MAN, this is pressure time. Yes, I wanted that 1st place win that I could taste it. Heck, I just wanted to place in weapons today, even if it meant that I wasn't going to get a possible tie for 1st place statewide. So, we each had to do our routines again, and at the end, the judges would point to whom they thought should be 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Well, BOTH Kim and Kathy bobbled in their routines, and I was really doing my best to make sure that I didn't bobble. And knowing I didn't, I was thinking that should at least put me in 1st or 2nd place. So imagine my relief when I did get 1st! I think I was so wrapped up in my thoughts of relief I didn't notice who got 2nd and 3rd. I was disappointed that Sandy didn't place, because I honestly felt that her routine should have placed in there. It was much better than either of the other two.
SPARRING: I didn't feel like sparring, but Sandy convinced me otherwise, because then we'd have an even number of people doing it, but due to the fact that they do it on that bracket system, 2 people had "byes" for the first round, and they made it the 1st place people from the other two events. That meant I had one of the byes. Color me surprised! I just wanted to get it over with, and here I would have to fight against one of the winners of the first match. Bleeh! Sandy went up for her turn, and sure enough, unluckily enough, it was against the gal she sparred against for the top spot back at the A tournament. I kept yelling now and then, "KICK HER!" to Sandy, as it seems they both have a similar strategy with doing a lot of punching, but she didn't seem to hear me. :-( The other gal won that match, but Sandy definitely put up a good fight. She really is good at sparring, much better than I am. So guess who I had to go up against? Yep, you guessed it, the one that beat Sandy. Crap. I was really hoping that it'd be a quick match, but alas, it wasn't. I did stop the match at one point due to having a mild asthma attack, and they let me stop to catch my breath, and then we continued. I didn't exactly try hard, but I didn't just stand there either the whole time. I realized that she always goes for the punches, and she's short. Ah, use the strategy of using what I'm good at-- my high kicks. I tried to fake her out, by lifting one leg as if to kick, and then kick with the other leg (like the ready, aim, fire! kicks), and it did work a little bit. I got at least one good kick to the head! Of course, that gave me 2 points. After a bit, we actually were tied at 4-4. At that point, I said, what the heck, I'll try to get another kick in. She got a good punch in instead, and she beat me. No surprise there. But this is what gets me...I figured that due to the bye, I had a chance at possibly being 3rd, but considering the other gal had won her first match, I figured she'd get it (the other loser of the second round). So imagine my surprise when I heard that I got THIRD in sparring! WTF? OK, I'm not going to question it. Maybe it had to do with how many points were earned during the losing matches instead of how many rounds you won. Who knows? I felt, and still feel, so guilty and bad about that win, more for Sandy. She's become an incredible sparrer, and if she and I had to be paired up, I know one of these days she's going to beat me big time. And she didn't place this time. I felt SOOOOOO bad. I know she felt it was a little unfair that two of us got byes, but I understood why they chose who they did-- the two with byes were the 1st placers in the other two events, and that kinda made sense, if you were going to pick anybody. Ultimately, I think the gal that won in forms also won in sparring (not the gal that both Sandy and I sparred). Oh well. SW had been watching, and I showed her the ticket for me to get my reward, and she said she wasn't surprised, but if I opened my arms and left myself open again, she'd come and hit me herself! :-S Oops, okay, yes ma'am! I think I probably did that because I thought if I just let the other gal get the point, we could end it all more quickly, but that wasn't happening. Go figure, when I make a pointed effort NOT to try, I end up getting 3rd place! As I told her, I dedicated my 3rd place win to Sandy, because in my mind, she deserved it more than I did.

Now, I was just checking the stats for NJ, and seeing the stats for some of the other gals who came tonight. Man, Sandy has been robbed! First, the gal who won from FL who got 1st in forms and sparring was already in first place in FL by a 100 MILES! She didn't need to be there today. And the other gal who got 2nd place in sparring today, who beat both Sandy and I, and got 1st in sparring last month isn't even leadership, from what I can tell, unless she's not done any interschools. If I recall, she was from a North Jersey school, and the only other person listed as ranking other than the #1 and Sandy is a person from SOUTH Jersey. So if she had not come either time, Sandy would be much higher ranked state. This is why competition is good, but why if you're not involved in leadership, then it seems a little unfair for those going for the points. It's frustrating.

Nonetheless, Sandy is still #2 in both forms and sparring, it looks like, if I'm calculating correctly, I will be TIED for 1st place after today (hence why getting the interschools in will put me over the top. Good work on both our parts! Not too shabby!

Something that was also slightly different was that there were no trophies this time around. We got giant mondo medals! That was interesting, and a little more easily portable, that's for sure. :-)

OK, now the few photos I have, that are thanks to Sandy, of course, the one who always documents everything! :-)
Medal Winner
Medal Winner!

Fear me!
Fear me! (My tribute to

TKD Buddies
Happy TKD Buddies! (Sandy and I)

And lastly, a closeup of those cool medals...
3rd place sparring and 1st place weapons medals - 4/14/073rd in Sparring on Left, 1st in Weapons on the Right

So, all in all, a good day. We just have to see how it all boils down in the end with the points, but I'm feeling better after today. Now, all I have to worry about now is the board break, getting through graduation, and then the interschool will be less of a worry, methinks.


Penelope said...

Yay! Congrats on the weapons first!

Just as an FYI, yelling "kick her" to to someone during tournament sparring is generally considered "sideline coaching" and is against the rules.

Windsornot said...

Thanks for letting me know. Then again, I think I also said, "The pants!" which wouldn't have made any sense to anyone but her and me, and besides, she didn't hear me anyway. I think when you are in the heat of things, you tend to block out anything other than "BREAK!". ;-) Or at least that's what I end up doing.

Penelope said...

*nods* Me too as far as hearing things, goes. It's more, however, whether a judge hears you doing it. There's actually a discussion going on ataforums at the moment about what people do as judges when they hear someone sideline coaching.

Anonymous said...

Well I didn't hear anything but "break" and I was too upset about the judging to pay much attention to anything else anyway. You can read about that part in MY blog, Pen. And by the way, Windsornot, THREE people got byes. So how did they choose the other? I think it was just random and happened to be the two first-place people. I didn't notice if Ms. Florida had a state champ on her? If so that is why she got a bye probably. I did think of TWO reasons she might have come despite being three miles ahead of her florida competition. 1) she's in cahoots with the current NJ leader and was trying to keep anyone else from NJ from getting those points. 2) She's competing with the NJ leader for National points and was trying to steal those points from her. I don't know how Nationals work so maybe that isn't possible, I don't know. Anyway I thought of those two reasons today. Pen thanks for the info about coaching. I did yell "go Danielle" when it was 4-4 in her match but at least that's just general cheering and not coaching! Love, Sandy (Oceandirt)

John Vesia said...

Nice medals. They're easier to take home than trophies, right? Congratulations and keep up the good work! (Sparring matches are for 5 pts. in the ATA? - did I read you right?)

Windsornot said...

Hey John-- Thanks! It depends on the size of the tournament and how many are in your ring. There were only 4 in my weapons ring, so I'd only get 4 points instead, but that's enough to tie for 1st place. If I can get just one more point, minimally, from the last interschool tourney of the year, then I should be over the top to secure the spot for sure!