I'm posting this a bit out of order because our trip through the DRC photos are being held hostage on Tom's computer. He is under the weather today and I hate to bother him about pictures for this 'lil ol' blog. Please do forgive the quality of the pictures in this post. The lighting in the huge room was horrendous.
Last Saturday our kids attended their first every Karate Tournament. We had no idea what to expect but it turned out to be a really enjoyable day.
Don't be fooled by their solemn faces. They were actually very excited.--But nervous too.
The kids have been studying Shotokhan for about eight months. This was the first tournament they could take part in because they are usually held in the Copperbelt--a good seven to eight hours away over dicey roads as you'll see tomorrow.
The first item on the agenda was for the three kids to grade for their new belts. They had to go through a series of movements called a kata. To move from yellow belt to orange they had to perform a kata called Heian Nidan.
Then they had to spar with each other--carefully measuring the distance so they could show their knowledge of blocks and hits without actually hitting each other.
Normally when the kids do their Shotokhan training Tom and I are running around getting shopping and errands done. Even when they train at home I'm usually off on my walk so it was a treat to see what they can do.
The kids did very well in their belt grading and passed to the next level. Tom and I were very proud.
After this, the kids' Sensei came to fill us in on the program for the day. He informed us that Jasmine and 3 other kids would be representing the Mansa Club in the competition. This meant that Timmy and Troy would not be taking part. They were very disappointed as you can imagine.
Troy is not advertising for a bottled water company but rather trying to put a brave face on over his disappointment at not being able to compete.
Timmy really enjoyed watching the other competitors perform kumite which is the fighting part of the tournament. His Sensei promised that next tournament Timmy will be able to compete in the Junior Kumite. This should be interesting since he is six feet tall and most of the Juniors are much shorter.
Their were some very tall black belt competitors and as I watched the fights I got very nervous about the future because there were no mats on the floor and no protection if a competitor was flipped. Yikes! I have no idea how I'll be able to watch my kids fight other people as they get higher in the belt category.
Jasmine did very well her in Kata. Because few girls take part in karate in this country she only had to compete against one other girl. This girl was a higher belt rank than Jasmine but Jasmine still beat her taking the top Ladies' spot for Kata in the competition.
Now that the kids have gotten a taste for competition they are eagerly counting down the days until the next tournament.