Asher and Micah had their first "official" karate tournament earlier today. It was a fun opportunity for them to see what a "big" karate tournament would be like, but in the comfort of their own school and classmates. They broke the kids into small groups of 2 or 3 to "compete" in their forms (sets of memorized steps including blocks and punches and such). The groups were designed to place similarly aged and ranked kids together (and meant that everyone placed no lower than third). Each child had to individually walk up, bow and present themselves (they had certain things they were supposed to say...about five lines...Asher was to memorize his but they offered to help the kids in Micah's division, as they'd not told them the lines ahead of time). After that, they performed their form and then awaited their scores from the 4-5 judges.
Micah and the other "pee wees" went first. Micah was the last in his group of three to go. He surprised the judges by having memorized the lines from the couple of practice runs they'd done just before starting. (I'm sure it didn't hurt that he'd been watching Asher practice at home this week, lol...plus, the kid actually does have a really good memory.) He did a great job and snagged the gold medal:
After that, the larger group of kids were split up (more roughly by age and size than rank this time). Asher did a similarly beautiful job:
In the end, Asher came away with a silver medal, having scored very slightly below the orange belt in his group (he's still a white belt, so two full belts below orange) but having scored higher than the yellow belt in his group (belts go white, yellow, orange). He was less thrilled than Micah but still very happy...and knows he did a great job. :)
Tomorrow, we'll go watch day two of the tournament...sparring. Asher was eligible to compete but opted to observe this time around, particularly since he's only just started back to sparring sessions in the past couple weeks after getting his cast off.
And. A great big THANK YOU to all who donated to St. Jude's and helped Asher and Micah reach their goal for this fundraiser/tournament! You rock! (Apparently, the boys will receive a bronze medal (and some other stuff) for their efforts...though that will come after the tournament. Asher and Micah agreed ahead of time to share whatever incentive they reached.) They both very much appreciate your help!