Today I competed in a karate tournament. I came away with two trophies, one for second place in the kata I performed, and one for first place in kumite(sparring). I actually prefer the second place trophy to the first, and here’s why. Maybe some of you out there have faced a similar situation.
Competition in a tournament is divided by two things, rank(that’s your belt level) and age. I’m a purple belt in Hawaiian Kempo, so I’m moderately advanced, but not really high ranked. But as for age, well, I’m in what is euphemistically called the “Executive” division, meaning us older folks over thirty-five.(I’m fifty-six).
So at my level and age division for the kata there were three competitors. I placed second, but I was very happy that the first place winner was also from the dojo I attend.
Moving over to sparring(which is further divided by gender) I find I’m the only female of my rank, division and age to have signed up. So by default I got first place. I did end up sparring in an exhibition match with a woman in the next age level down who was in the same position. Of course she trounced me, as she was a black belt. But the judges had kind things to say about how I did some good blocking of her head kicks.
So whoopee, I won a first place but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as winning the second place was. Anyone else ever been more proud of a lower finish than a higher, in anything?