Monday, August 7, 2006


Wow what a good time. Make that great time.

I am glad that we didn't sign up to compete, because it was mass chaos for a while there and we had our hands full trying to simultaneously watch both monkies (same division) and manage Odie while this was going on. Of course, everything had calmed down by the time we would have had to go on--but it was nice to just go and watch to get an idea of what happens.

Got there late on Friday night, with just enough time to see the 4th and 5th degree Black Belts compete. Amazing doesn't do them justice. Our form takes about a minute and a half, and that's with me stumbling to remember parts of it. These guys would go for 10 minutes--doing techniques that I couldn't dream of doing. Maybe someday.

Saturday we showed up on time, but it was crazy until we figured out where the monkies were competing at. The opening ceremonies were cool, with a lot of theatrics and finishing with a demo team performance in front of roughly 500 or so people. After the ceremony Princess came up to us terrified--I thought she had just figured out that it was serious and a competition. Come to find out she thought that she was going to have to compete in front of everyone like the demo team. No wonder she chilled out when she saw that she just had to go on a mat in front of about a dozen people.

It was a challenge trying to be superdad and monitor both Cowboy and Princess's events, since they were going on at the same time at opposite ends of the arena. I just parked myself in the middle and waited until one went on. Of course, as I was taping Princess Cowboy stepped out onto the mat, so I just got to see about 30 seconds of his. When Princess was doing her form, the judge that was helping her apparently figured out that she knew what she was doing and stepped back. She was so focused on what she was doing that she just kept going by herself. To say I was proud would be an understatement.

After they were done we watched our classmates compete on the mat that we probably would have been on had we entered. The judges take great pains to get you to relax--at least at this level. We had classmates medal in several areas.

Lastly we went and watched our instructor compete in her Black Belt division. Female twenty-somethings are amazing to watch when they do this stuff. Men are pretty exciting, too, but the women are extremely fast and vicious. She ended up not placing (which is abnormal--she's won a lot of events) but it was awesome to see.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Next stop is the National Tournament in Disney World if we can scrounge up enough money to go.

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