I’m sure training blogs/tweets/facebook updates all over the country have updated this week with something along the lines of ‘British Championships this weekend, I’m excited/nervous!’, and here’s my addition to the pile. The 2010 EMTF British Championships are indeed on this weekend, and yours truly will be heading up with the rest of his extended TSD family to compete and savour the atmosphere.
I remember before the Europeans back toward to start of the year, I was very nervous. Firstly about seeing so many other TSD practitioners (who were bound to be better than me, right brain?), but also about competing on a Continental level. Obviously it’s not like playing in the UEFA Champions League or something, but within our art it’s a big deal, so I was rightfully anxious. This time around however, I feel much calmer than before. Is it because I’m cocky? No. Is it because I don’t care? Far from it. I think my perception of what the event is is just changing, that’s all.
Having been away and trained with some of the Senior faces in the EMTF now a few times, each time we go back it really does feel like meeting up with old friends, even though it’s still firmly within the bounds of the respect and traditions inherent in Tang Soo Do. I’m looking forward to going away to see all the familiar faces, to spend a whole day in the presence of like-minded individuals, and to watch our less-experienced members get another taste of competition. The like-minded individuals part is one of the nicest aspects of the trip for me I think. When we train with our clubs we’re part of a small group, but when we step outside and into the nearest shop, classroom of office, we’re dropped back to Earth with the realisation that the rest of the world doesn’t train. But get into a competition hall and it’s a different story, every person there is either directly or indirectly a part of Tang Soo Do and it’s a great feeling to know you’re surrounded by people with the same passion as you. If you’re reading this as someone going away to compete, and haven’t noticed it before, take a moment to take it in when you get there and stand in line, it’s deeply satisfying.
As far as my own competing goes, I’m feeling fairly laid-back about it as I write. It’ll be a different story in a few days time though, I’ve no doubt. For me there’s no more heart-fluttering a moment at a competition than hearing your name called for a category. The sudden realisation gives me a massive adrenaline shot – game time! It’s always been the same though; basketball matches, volleyball games, hell, even a game of Street Fighter against someone good, they all get it coursing through my veins. But I’m under no illusion that my forms are the best, and I certainly don’t expect to take medals. If I manage to earn one, great! For me it’s about the experience now, the couple of days away as a whole. That said, I’ll be damned if I don’t go away and give as good an account of my school and my instructors as possible.
The only two events I’m aiming to win this weekend happen the evening after the competition: Most Chinese food eaten at the meal, and Most Awesome Dancing at the club after