Monday, May 2, 2011

I went, I fought ~ Japanese Karate, So much Fun

Sempai Harry and me
Those who read my blog on a regular basis, might have noticed that I wasn't posting as often as I usually do before a fight. I really couldn't post all my thoughts. You see, I was hurt and didn't want to give it away. I didn't know if my opponents were reading this or not. I know I would be reading the blog of someone training to fight me.

Before the fight:

Nice lean, hoping the other coach didn't notice
So the thing I couldn't write about, I was hurt. Two weeks ago I got tagged on my lead leg, just above the knee on the outside. I limped around all weekend, doing the RICE thing and come Monday It was still tender but I could walk on it. Then during full contact training, I was sparring and wound up getting tagged in the same spot. I didn't show it but I couldn't kick anymore and I think I got hit 3 or 4 more times there. I couldn't lift my leg to kick, I couldn't get it out of the way to block. Someone was yelling for me to use my legs and the guy I was sparring just cracked me hard, really hard right there. I fell to the floor, tears were coming down my face and I couldn't breathe. Finally, seemed like an eternity, I got up and bowed out. They brought me ice but my leg is ruined.

I didn't think I could fight this past Saturday. My leg was healing but it constantly felt like there was a knot just above my knee joint. Wednesday came and Shihan calls me and asks if I can fight. He said they had a fight for me. Just one fight. I decided I could do one fight. I knew who they had, Ivanna.

I had fought her before, a year and a half before and lost. The losing to her really wasn't effecting my nerves because I might have won. That was my first fight, semi-contact. I fought one girl then 5 minutes later I fought Ivanna. I was her first fight, she was my second and I was so tired. I had some really bad cardio then, really bad. Still it went into extension and I lost to a 3-2 split decision. Had I not already fought, it would have been mine. Time had passed since then and she was in Canada with me. She trains very hard and is a fierce competitor.

My nervousness was from me feeling like I hadn't put in the work. I think it was only a month and a half ago that I really got my head into the game. I trained so hard and so much after that, I was over-training. Doing weights in the morning, cardio in the after noon and training at night for 2 to 3 hours, 6 days a week. My hands were bruised, my thumb sprained, knuckles bloody, feet bruised, and I was tired. So tired that everyone was kicking my ass. A few days before I got hurt the first time, Shihan had a talk with all of us in the dojo, but he was really speaking to me. I don't think he knew all I was doing until that talk. He had me only doing weights twice a week and cardio once along with karate, and nothing more.

After the hits to my leg, and the bad performances at the dojo, my confidence spiraled down. I "knew" I was in over my head. I wanted to quit all day.
The Fight:
The day was one of the longest of my life. I woke up just wanting to get it over with. About 15 minutes after the semi-contact fights were over, the full contact fighters lined up on the mat. and about 40 minutes after that, it was time for Ivanna and I to fight. I was red.

Shihan Petrovich, center ref
I came up and got into my fighting stance. We exchanged blows, she kicked to the head, a lot. I blocked most of them and those I didn't block, didn't really connect. I felt one touch my head but no damage was done. I kicked to the inside leg and tried for the outside. I punched and punched again like a mad woman. I kept trying to keep my left leg to the back but I would automatically switch because of training. She kicked at my legs but didn't connect at the right place. I held my own.

The round was done and not a single flag was raised. Hikiwaki, the word I hate the most. I usually dread it because I have no oxygen left to fight again, but when I heard it this time, it wasn't so bad. I felt like I could go again.

It was a one minute extension.  She was pushing me around a little, not hurting me, but I was still protecting my leg. You really dont feel the pain of a fight until after. Probably just a few seconds at the end of the round she hit the spot. We would have had another extension but when she hit that, it was over. I felt it buckle, like the muscles were being pulled away from the joint. I glanced at the center judge, that happened to be my Shihan and shook my head. I was done. She and her coach saw me grimace and I heard excited shouts of "AGAIN, AGAIN!" and she did, really well right into the same place. Whistles were blown.

I am not sure if the judges whistled because I was hurt or because the time was up. But my Shihan, the center ref, called for the corner judges to award the round and instead of hikiwaki, it was white flags. "Shiro", I heard called. I limped over and Ivanna gave me a big hug, limped a bit further and her coach hugged me too.

Ivanna Williams and Patty Pittman
I was so very happy. I really was. The last fight, when I got knocked out, I was mad at myself. But this loss I was happy. Extension meant that I held my own. That I wasn't just a push over like I thought I was. Also I blocked almost all the head kicks. That is a big thing for me. Sempai Harry said that I will probably never get knocked out again from a round house. Lie, but I like the thought.

Will I ever "know" that I can fight? That I deserve to be put on the mat with those black belt full contact fighters? I feel I deserve it today, but wait for two months out to the next fight. I will question and wonder and maybe even contemplate stepping down. But in the end, I will go through with it and I will be glad that I did.