Early march, We managed to travel down southern Kentucky to compete at a great martial arts tournament. Tournament of Champions is a sport karate event by Marty Eubanks (Son of the late Bluegrass Nationals promoter, Ken Eubanks). He has been branding this regional event nonstop all years. Fortunately, it has paid off quite well for him. Soon as we arrived at the tournament, the registration line was packed!! you feel the energy in the air of the top martial artist in the region seeking to win their divisions. Me and couple of my classmates, whom I consider my brothers, decided to do team fights early that morning followed by our actual division later.
After a long day, the adult black belt men’s division finally were caught up. The heavyweight division was stacked with an enormous amount of talent. Personally, it was definitely a challenge because it could be anyone’s day to win! Some of the guys I’ve fought or watched them fight. Good thing being off the radar for a while, they didn’t know what I could do. After going through two rounds in eliminations, the fight I would’ve taken me to fight for first place along with my other team, Sean “Goo” Elder (pictured in the red and black) was short by Tray Lazenby of Team Atl. He is very good counter fighter will great speed for a heavyweight. Despite the blows exchanged, he advanced with a score of 6-3 and lost by one point (6-5) for 3rd and 4th to my friend, Ben Franzen (we fought first round during team fights).
Initially, I wasn’t pleased on the performance. However, I have always been my toughest critic. Throughout the day, I pondered on the mistakes taken from our earlier matches. Soon as my cousin (also classmate) gave me a broader perspective, my initial moral took a slight mental shift towards the greater good. Since November, the obsession to win overall grand champion deprived my evaluation of self-improvement. For once, I never took the chance to view the gradual progression upon myself. Sometimes we focus so much on being perfect or winning for a “title” we never try to register our milestones which transpires us to the present. Obtaining fourth place was a great lesson because I gave it my all. No one wants to be second or three best, but if we recognize our steps towards being greater than we all win! Granted, we all are hungry and push each other to better ourselves.
I finally got the chance to do team fights train along some people I admired as a teenager, learned from my strengths and weaknesses, and fellowship with some martial artists. You can’t get any better than that!