Was "The Force" with me?
I stayed with Michael, who was my best man at my wedding , his partner Suasan and their two young children James and Owen.
After a meal, a game of cards, a couple of lagers and a bottle of wine (all essential pre- competition preparation). Susan said that they had prepared the spare room and the boys and her had decided that I should have the "Stars Wars" quilt cover and hopefully the force would be with me the following day.
My inspiration to compete is to improve my own personal performance. It is nice to win a trophy or medal now and again, but for me if I have pushed myself and performed well, that is enough.
As a 48 year old part time solider, I was putting myself up against younger, fitter and more experienced karateka, I was the oldest karateka there by quite a few years. It is good to put yourself out of your comfort zone now and again to improve your own karate.
In Kata I performed Hangetsu in the first round and made it through to the second round. For my second kata I performed Kanku Sho, I manged to get to the end of both kata without suffering from the "frozen kata syndrome" that normally plagues me. I scored probably just under half way down the rankings, well out of the medals but had performed better than I have ever done before.
The Kumite was fought in two Pools of 4 on a round robin, the top 2 from each pool going into a fight off. The other three dan grades in my pool were all members of the Army Karate team and two of them also compete for England. I was very, very pleased , to loose 2 and win 1.
I had a long drive North to Bradford to take part in the City's 10k. The troop from Bradford had decided to raise some monies for charity by each of us carrying an additional 20Kg as we went round. We were paced round by our PTI at a forced march to complete the 10 k in 1hour and 31 minutes, very close to the back markers who were getting worried that we were catching them.
Thank you Susan, I think the force might have been with me after all. Perhaps I can make a booking for the Star Wars suite for next year as well?