My first match was against Woodrina. She was a big woman, a very nice woman, but scary all the same. I had spoke to her earlier when the kids were sparring. She was a down to business kind of person. A lawyer with two kids. Her kids were good kids too. They were well behaved and respectful. She was very nice and seemed to have her life put together well. When I grow up I would like to be as confident and as well put together as that lady. I'd like to be as scary too!
The fights progressed really quickly. It wasn't long before I was to fight. I got the red sash tied to my belt and Shihan tells me that I need pads. I was very confused. I was fighting full contact, what was up with the pads? The pads don't do anything anyway, they are so thin. When Woodrina's Sensei offered to have the pads off, someone said that we should stick to the program.
So I borrowed Beth's hand pads and we went to the ring. I was taking some deep breaths. My kids said I looked mad before I went in. I was trying not to look scared. The scared part, was part didn't want to be hurt really bad. I didn't want to embarrass the dojo by doing something stupid, and I was also kind of embarrassed of myself because I have terrible stamina. I get out of breath so quickly and then can't catch my breath for a long time. When I went to the Semi-contact tourney last fall, I went into my second fight, still breathing heavy from the first fight. I was worried that I would run out of gas.
So the fight starts and we are punching each other like crazy. She got me in the ribs with a hook punch. I felt tears in my eyes and thought she would have received a 1/2 point but I kept my game face on. As long as you keep fighting, they don't award points. It is only if you have to stop fighting do they award a 1/2 point, as long as you can continue in 15 seconds, you do that twice and you lose. You get a whole point when your opponent can't continue and the fight is won. After that the judges choose who did the best fighting and pick a winner.
So I thought she had won that round and was waiting for the corner judges to raise the white flag. (I was in the red corner) Instead they crossed their flags, which means a draw. I looked over at my coach and said I can't do this anymore. I could have cried. So the match was extended by another 2 minute round. I kicked her to the head and she punched me right in the face. (face punches are one of the few things we don't allow) I heard my sensei call a combo and I did an inside leg kick and an outside round house to her femur. She winced in pain and I heard sensei scream "AGAIN!". I worked her legs so hard. Whenever she would punch, I would do my best to block it, forgetting to punch back.
I WON!! This win wasn't even a split decision. I had 5 judges say I was the winner.
The next match was against someone who was around my weight, just a bit lighter. This woman went to the world championships in Budapest last October. The first woman was bigger and hit me harder, but she could only hit hard a few times before she would run out of gas. This second woman, hit hard the ENTIRE time. SHe was rocking me. The fight was another tie. During the overtime, I found that my leg went really nicly up to her face. I think I got her 2 times in the head before she remembered how to block. Then I did an uppercut into the ribs and could hear her breath leave her body, and she moved back. I worked more uppercuts before she remembered to block them so I switched hands but didn't have the same force lefty. went back to my right.
I WON AGAIN!! again not a split decision, all 5 judges awarded me the win.
I am now the US Kyokushin Karate Champion! Can you believe it?! I'll be 40 next year!
*DISCLAIMER* I have now seen the pictures from the tournament and some things I remember wrong. I had thought I pushed the first fighter out of the ring, but according to the pictures, it was the second fight. Also I don't remember kicks being thrown at the first fight,but pictures show different. The fight as described may not be the way it happened. It is just the way I remember it happened.