Today we would compete in Kumite events.
Once again we had to get up very early to meet the bus. This time the bus was waiting for us and that was great because it was raining. The rain stopped by the time we got to Garfield Sobers Gym. I didn’t take pictures of the building as I forgot. I said I was the worse tourist. When we arrived to the arena, it was locked. We had to wait for someone to open a door for us to get in.
Once inside I sat with the team and we discuss the events thus far and our strategies for the day. I took one of my cards and gave it to Jonathan from Guyana. He will be featured for Meet the IKD on the International Karate Daigaku website in the future. As will a young student from England.
I prepared to judge. It was a very interesting enbu competition. I enjoy this event. It is basically a self defense demonstration. There were some interesting ideas. I was able to judge one of the age groups for this event.
The individual events started and I asked IKD Shuseki Shihan Woon-A-Tai to be dismissed from my post to prepare. I joined the rest of the team and started to warm up. First up, Sensei Isabelle Bordage. She entered the ring and the girl she was facing was a similar fighter to me. She stood her ground with not much bouncing around. Isabelle said after the match that she was fighting a female version of me. LOL! Unfortunately, she did not advance.
Next up was Sensei Michel Gaudet and I. Michel one his first match. He is quick and it proved to be a great asset during this event. My match went the opposite. Right out of the gate I got hit in the face. Then kicked hard in the stomach. So much that it sent me backwards. With that my tournament was finished. Was I heart broken? Not really. To me competing is not that important. I love to prepare students to compete, I love to judge and I love to coach. I have been saying for a long time that my competing days are coming to an end. If they do so in paradise, that is okay. I will make a decision over the next few years but I might not compete, much, anymore. I said a few years ago, that I was done. Then I went to Nationals in Quebec. Then I said I was done again. Then I decided to come here. We will see what happens over the next few years. But I know I will not be missing tournaments. If I can make it to tournament I will be there to judge and coach.
Judges, Coaches and officials were treated to a catered meal again. This was great once again. The only thing I didn’t like was that there were rice noodles instead of rice and the turkey option didn’t look very appetizing. I had the fish again. I got to sit with Shihan Bernice Hughes. I really like her. She is such a kind lady and has given me some great advice. We were joined by Arthur Bird, Shihan Guy Bourgon, Shihan David and Shihan Janice Pyke. Our meal was good.
After lunch I returned to my post as a judge. I waited on the sidelines for a few matches and then Shihan Janice came and told me that she had gotten me a “hall pass” to leave early with the rest of the team if I wanted to. I took the hall pass and left. I changed and met with the team. We headed back to Coconut Court in a cab. The driver was awesome. I will see about getting his contact information. If you ever visit the island you have to get him to drive you somewhere. He was so informative. Michel had to ride in the trunk of the hatchback. There wasn’t enough room for all of us.
After arriving back at the hotel, I decided to write this message before I even got a shower. I poured some rum punch into a water bottle and started to work. Michel said he was heading to the beach with Isabelle, Darcey, Casey and Carol. I waited a few minutes then decided to go too. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to swim but I was one of the first in the water. The water was so warm. Soon everyone was in the water. Isabelle and I sat in the warm Caribbean Sea and were joined by a school of tiny flying fish. They jumped out of the water a few times. It was so cool. I wish I had my underwater camera with me. Maybe I will tomorrow. After leaving the water, I returned to the room and showered. I started to write more on this post and drink the rest of my rum punch. Well Michel arrived again and said that everyone was sitting at a table on the deck having a drink. I went out with the rest of my punch but soon was empty. I decided to go get some from the bar. I got two rum punch for $8 bajan dollars. After finishing the drinks I returned to the room and saw Jonathan again. This kid has been hanging out with us all weekend. I am not sure of his challenges but he is a great kid. I think we all enjoyed having him around. At one point in the day, he asked me to tie his belt. I tied it around his eyes. He told his mother this when I was talking to him. We are going to make his a featured member on the IKD Website for sure. I love this little guy. He made me smile all weekend.
The team went to Buzo for dinner. Amazing food and a great time.
The evening ended around 9pm and we all headed back to our rooms. I am not writing this at 10:46pm. A little bit buzzed from all the alcohol I had this evening. I hardly drink but I am having a good time here in paradise.
One day left of karate tournament then a couple days of enjoying the island before we fly home. This has been an amazing experience. I will never forget it.