This weekend I went to yet another tournament.
I like to ask myself, why? Why do I do it, I mean...honestly.
First off, it's expensive. I spent nearly $200 to drive down there, pay my entry fees and supply myself. If my pocketbook crying isn't bad enough, it is super stressful even to BE there. Everyone is zigging and zagging, yelling, shouting, screaming (it is a martial arts tournament after all!). Kids are hanging on chairs and playing with things that aren't theirs. One unknown child was joyfully playing with my gear bag and making an attempt at my keys.It's enough to make you go AHHHHH! But that's not all. Half the time I just spent waiting for my turn to go, or else waiting for the students (only 2 others went this time) so that I could help them. I was in front on the ring for nearly an hour before the judges got their heads on straight. Martin, the 6 (7?) year old student waited almost 2 hours to go spar...that was even with him bearing all of his sweaty gear!
I mean, I didn't even spar and I was still all clammy and fidgety. I suppose not everyone gets this way, but my hands and feet always get really cold and sweaty. It really is one of the most uncomfortable feelings.
So after waiting all this time and feeling a little bit like a refrigerated slab of meat, they call my class. Low and behold, I wasn't the only one this time. There was another red double black in my patterns class. I sat outside the ring and watched him perform first. He was strong and his movements were smooth, but he lacked conviction.
You see, one of the purposes of doing forms in the first place is to pretend that you are fighting an invisible opponent to a pre-determined set of moves. It is...in essence... a dance. An aggressively controlled dance, but a dance nonetheless. And what do dancers have? They have soul, power, life. ...It's all the same thing you just gotta take my word for it.
So anyways, I watched this guy finish and I started getting excited, because I already KNEW I could win. From all of the practice that I had done and the soul I put into every single effing thing I do, I just knew that I had this. And I did.
I went into the ring, said my respects to the judges and started my form.
I started strong, I was powerful and fluid. I started and stopped in the appropriate spots just like I had practiced, that is...until I got half way through and panicked. I had forgotten the next move!
What was it!??? WHAT !?? AHH! I stumbled and cursed under my breath. I could feel two hundred eyes on me...all of them wondering what the hell I was doing. All I could think was...PANIC!!!! I FORGOT MY FORM WHAT AM I DOING
"JUST MOVE ON!"
(*this is actually the second angel to save me in a tournament. His name is Sonny Whethers and he is awesome.)
You know what I did? I moved on. I finished. I finished strong.
Needless to say, I would have won if I hadn't stumbled. But you know...it's kind of like life. Everyone stumbles, you just have to pick up and finish dammit! Even if it means faking the entire form because you forgot it. Even if you fall down, stumble, get punched in the face, laid off from work or your car window blown out. You move on.
And you want to know what else I learned? It's nice when those angels help you out along the way. You just have to keep your mind wide and your ears open. They never come when you want them to, but if you are willing, they will when you need to.
Take it from me, I'm the non believer.