I didn't update for almost 2 months... Shame on me, but for a good reason: I was busy! :-)
Many events happened:
1. National Mini-Camp
Our own Emmanuel participated! He even got to compete against some black belts from other states! I'm sure he learned a lot from the experience. The AAKF continues hosting some seminars across the country regularly, so if any of you're interested in traveling and training, let me know.
2. National Championship
Big thanks to the following people who came to support the event:
Jon B, Eiko, Ron, Chris, Ariana, Emmanuel, Melissa
I hope it was exciting enough to watch. I did pretty good and won 2 golds and 1 bronze.
3. VMAC 1 Year Anniversary!
I can't believe it's been a year since we opened this dojo... The anniversary training didn't draw as many people as we wanted, but we still had a good training, and of course a great party afterwards. We are here to stay and to continue to grow...!
4. ITKF Summer Camp
Thanks to Jon B who covered to teach all the classes, I was able to participate in this training camp. There were about 40 people from different countries, many of them higher ranks and international judges/coaches/examiners/athletes. Sensei Nishiyama used to teach this camp every year down in San Diego for over 30 years, and after 3 years hiatus they resumed this tradition this year. It was a great camp and I learned a lot, hoping to give what I learned to you in classes. It will happen again next year in July; you should try to come even for a day! Beach training at 6am is wonderful in many ways...
5. Nishiyama Memorial Cup
There was a tournament on the last day of the camp. It was held based on the "World Cup" system - 8 men, all start with Kitei, then Kumite, then Kata (twice), and the final match in Kumite. You can lose once but you're out if you lose twice before getting to the Kata round (top 4). I won the first round (Kitei), lost the second round (Kumite, against Damian from Poland - watch the video posted on facebook), then won the next Kumite match and made it to the top 4. After the first Kata I was at 3rd place (after Rafal and Damian) but after the second Kata I beat Damian by a few points and moved up to the 2nd place, then did Kumite as the final match against Rafal (this video on facebook as well). Though they are very young, they are experienced competitors and have won many titles including European or World Cup. They are fast, strong, and have different style from most Americans which was a huge challenge for me. I hurt my old body trying to match up with them but truly enjoyed the experience. Those guys are who I have to face in the next tournament: World Championship in Poland this October!
I put another book on the bookshelf, as the "book of the month" for July and August. It's Lyoto Machida's book. Those who don't know him, he actually used to compete under our Karate rules as a Brazilian national team member, became a professional fighter and at one point was a UFC champion. His fights reflect the style we practice a lot; if you compare him with other fighters, you know what I mean.
So the next exam is just over a month away: August 26. Are you ready? Probably not yet, but are you GOING TO BE ready?? - the answer depends on how much training you do during the coming month!