The day started very early since we had to be at the Oval by 7:30am for the Official Opening Ceremony. It was exciting. We all marched into the Oval walking behind each Provincial Flag. It was cool seeing the Olympic rings as they sang the National Anthem. I hope to hear it when I’m in New Zealand!!! They also had some Korean Drummers and some wicked demonstrations for women’s patterns and men’s pre-arranged sparring.
Since there were over 400 competitors the day seemed very long. I didn’t start my sparring until around 2:00. It’s always hard to know when to eat or start warming up since you don’t really know when your ring is going to be called. I warmed up with a buddy (Stephanie Boivin) from Longueuil. She is in the Micro Weight division so we can encourage each other without having to compete against each other 🙂
Since my instructor was competing right after me he couldn’t coach me so Mr. David Lim was my coach for sparring. I train with Mr. Lim all the time so I felt very comfortable with him.
I had accumulated enough points in previous sanctioned tournaments over the last year that I automatically qualified for the final round robin. It may not sound hard to have to compete against only three other people but you have to remember that we are the top four in Canada. Hopefully that gives you an understanding at the level and quality. We have done our hard work all year to get to the finals.
I ended up placing third overall. My first match was terrible and I am frustrated at the mistakes that I made. I won my second match and I felt like I was just getting into the groove. Each round felt better and better. I was really proud of my cardio. I felt like I could have done more and more fights. In the final round I was against the previous World Bronze Medalist and it was very close. I was able to get in a lot of points but ended up losing since I had too many warnings. After a certain amount of warnings, you lose points. Even though I lost that round I felt good about it. It was a really good lesson for me to learn at this event, instead of at the worlds. When I do my sparring training I need to pay attention to how many warnings I have so that doesn’t happen again. Anything can happen in sparring and that’s what makes it so exciting.
Obviously I am disappointed that I didn’t win but I am still pleased that I qualified to compete for sparring in New Zealand.
Then it was off to Power Breaking. I had a lot of fun in this event. I won silver which means I also qualified to compete in this event as well in New Zealand. My second time around in the breaking, I didn’t measure properly and I kicked the metal instead. Big mistake!!! Apparently, when you give it your all and kick metal with full force, it hurts a bit 🙂
In tournaments you don’t break wooden boards. You break plastic boards that have a zig/zag fold in them. The board only breaks if it’s perfect technique which makes it harder. Each board color represents the equivalency to a certain number of wooden boards.
I learned some very important things at this tournament. I came with two major goals.
Number 1: I wanted to qualify for patterns, sparring and power breaking. I achieved that so I’m EXTREMELY happy, relieved and proud!!!!
Number 2. I wanted to leave the tournament with ‘No Regrets’ no matter how I placed. I wanted to put it all out there and not hold back. To be honest, after a whole lot of thinking I don’t think that it’s possible or smart. If you don’t have any things to work on then you will never improve. I made some mistakes in my sparring but I know what I have to work on. I also made a mistake of not measuring the machine properly for my last kick in the Power Breaking and that cost me the gold medal. I won’t do that again! When I’m training for power breaking, I’m going to focus a lot on accuracy. I am getting stronger and stronger but I need to continue to work on the technique.
All in all, I took a lot away from this tournament. It was an awesome learning experience, a great test to see how my training is paying off and just an amazing time. This is a practice run for the World Championships and I have 4 months to get even better.