On 18 Oct, seven of my students tagged along with me to Florida to compete in an open martial arts event hosted by Mr. Thomas Gordon (Unified ITF and NKMAA). This was our last event together prior to me leaving to Nebraska. I'd love to share the following news:
Yellow Belt Christopher Rivera placed 1st in both sparring and patterns.
Green stripe Joshua Rivera placed 1st in sparring and medaled in patterns.
Green stripe Matthew Nguyen (Handi-capped) competed against unhandicapped competitors and still placed 3rd in patterns.
Green Belt Jaielynd Jones placed 1st in patterns, sparring and self defense.
Green Belt Valentina Jones placed 2nd in patterns and 2nd in sparring (the self defense event only gave 1st place awards, but she would have placed 2nd in that as well).
Blue Stripe Andrew Lutz placed 1st in weapons, 1st in patterns and 3rd in sparring (the self defense event would have won him 3rd).
Red Stripe Kendall James won 3rd in sparring after not training for a few years.
After being asked by my students, their parents and the tournament host about me competing I made a quick decision to actually compete in patterns (I didn't have my sparring gear with me since I only planned on going for my students). I pumped out the ITF pattern Yu-Sin and won 1st in patterns. At the end of the tournamanet all the black belt winners competed for the tournament grand champion awards (6' trophey). I decided since I was competing against flashy bo staff twirlers, young whipper snappers, one 7th Dan and a few others that I'd change up my pattern to Moon-Moo. This is a difficult pattern alone let alone standing up and judging all day. I ended up with the tournament grand champion trophey. Funny how I wasn't even there to compete originally.
I want to say thanks to Ms. James for helping with the coaching, judging and all the behind the scene things that happen at these events with your students and parents.
This is definitely a wonderful way to leave behind fun memories with my students and their parents before departing for Nebraska. I was very proud of my students for their high level of competition. Especially since we are not tournament orientated. I also feel it goes to show that if you as the instructor have high standards and a high work ethic you can produce excellent students.