Friday, October 15, 2004

My FIRST and ONLY Tae Kwon Do tournament

I've always been an active sports person. Back in high school, I played basketball for the school. One day, my cousin said that he would train me in various styles of Kung Fu. Let me just say that that was the worst ass kicking I've ever been through. I did learn quite a bit from him. We worked quite a bit of upper body strikes and joint locks. I'll never forget when he took my mother's solid oak broom and told me to block as he wailed me with it. His belief is that it hurts now, but sooner or later, it won't hurt as bad...So, fucking take it!

When college rolled around, I still played basketball for fun. But then came the day when I started taking Tae Kwon Do. It became clear that the techniques that I learned in Kung Fu were quite different from what they were teaching. When we fought against each other, those who have only taken Tae Kwon Do were only effective with their legs...not their upper body. My instructor convinced me that this may work to my favor if I competed in a tournament. So, I agreed to fight...but only once.

My division was the last to fight. I watched each of my opponents preferences as to how they fought. I remember this one guy who ALWAYS jumped right at his opponent with a jump kick to the head for 3 points ( the most points you can get in any one face off) right when the judge signaled for the fight to begin. After I eliminated 8 opponents, I made it to the semi-finals. It was me against him. I knew what to expect. So, when the judge signaled for the fight to begin, he did exactly what I expected him to, he jumped right at me.

Since I knew what to expect, I jumped to the side and stuck my foot out. I caught him right in the head. 3 points for me! Poor guy...after that, he was a little dizzy. So, 2 straight points and it was all over. I had made it to the finals! The last match I fought was against a huge 6'5" dude from hell. I'm only 5'11".

I scored 2 straight points on him with direct punches to the body. That's when I saw something different. He looked determined. The third time we squared off, he dove straight for me with a kick to my head. He wanted those 3 points to pass me up. I blocked his kick, got in real close, and threw a punch right to his mid-section. YES! Another point for me! WRONG! According to the judges, all he had to do was get within a foot of my head in order to get the points....BULLSHIT! I saw what he was going to do and took him out! But, that's okay....I'll get him. I was furious....The next time we faced off, the instant the judge dropped his hand to signal the fight to begin, I dove right into him and landed a perfect punch right to his chest. I felt somewhat bad because it knocked him over. Immediately, I reached for his hand to pull him up and apologized. But, he knew....he just said, "Good one. Good one." I asked him if he was alright. He said, "Oh yeah, you just completely caught me off gaurd...good one." We waited for the judges decision. It came: 3 strikes against Red (me) for excessive use of force. I was DISQUALIFIED in the final match. Championship to him....second place for me. Sucked? Not really. Wanna know why? It's because regardless of what the judges thought, I had a shitload of FUN that day.