This weekend was the Gyeonggido Sports For All Festival/Championships in Yeoncheon. Across all sports only adults are allowed to compete at this event, and that meant us English teachers would be competing in the hapkido. We had a choice of self defence of sparring and we all chose sparring. My personal reason was that I wanted to prove, to myself, that I can stand up and be a man if things ever get hairy. Until this weekend I would much rather have run away than faced any threat.
On Wednesday I picked up an injury on my left arm, the main blocking arm, and that was worrying me a lot. Honestly, I was TRYING to get out of the competition. I was already scared of this fighting thing and an injury did not help me feel any better. Long story short, I couldn’t get out of it and just had to get some extra padding on.
All the way up to the time of the fight the other masters from Icheon helped us and gave us tips on what to do and how. Unfortunately that is not the time to give a first timer new moves, I tried it and promptly forgot everything new the moment I stepped on to the mat.
The fight was nothing spectacular. My main problem was that my opponent wasn’t very aggressive and waited for me to make the first moves. This is not how we trained, so I had to start doing things that I was not very comfortable with.
I figured out quite quickly that this guy was not going to play the game I wanted, but I was not going to go down just hopping around the mat until the time was up. I tried a few kicks, did not land anything to score points and was hit in retaliation. I blocked a few (Yaaaaah!), and even tried to throw the guy.
Keep in mind that I was fighting men of about 23 who’d been doing this for a lot longer than I have. I’m really upset that I didn’t score a single point, but I am proud of myself for stepping on to the mat and facing my opponent like a man. I was not kicked in the head, I was taken down only once and it was not a shut out (default win due to a five point lead).
The main thing I learned from this was that this was not scary at all. I suppose that when you practice against masters you are bound to see the worst that could happen to you.
Everyone told me I did well for my first time. One person even pointed out that I was fearless and I figures out she meant my attitude and appearance on the mat. I did not run away and I tried to get in there and do what need to be done. I did not go all goggle eyed after the first point was scored on me and I did not waste time to get back to my spot after being thrown for a point. What’s the point of being afraid once you are there? Being scared would not have helped me. At least I was not warned for inactivity and running away like some people who will not be named.
That is the very short and sweet of me and my fist every fight. As soon as I’m able I will post a few photos from the competition.