Last weekend my two youngest (Scarlett Rose & Benjamin) entered their first competitive karate tournament, as part of the Valley Shorai team.
5 different clubs from around the North (Valley Shorai, Rossendale MMA, Elite Martial Arts, UFMA & KIJO) came together to Valley Shorai’s club in little Ewood Bridge.
My youngest, Scarlett Rose is only 6, and really wanted to compete in the Kata section (which is kind of a Japanese war dance, that demonstrates the skills a warrior has amassed over time).
Benjamin is 11 and really wanted to push himself out of his comfort zone, and as well as entering the Kata section, he also wanted to compete in both continuous and points fighting.
A very nerve wreaking day was in store for 2 very worried but proud parents.
I’d always thought that Karate was an individual sport, where one competitor either competed alone (Kata) or pitted there wits directly against an opponent (continuous or points fighting).
Boy, how wrong could I be!
Yes, each person did compete as an individual, but it was definitely a team effort.
Each club gathered their troops, and supported every member of their team in every event they entered.
No way was it 1 on 1, more like 5 on 5 or even 10 on 10. With shouts of encouragement, advice and even group chanting coming from the sidelines.
I imagined the competition mat being a very lonely place. Boy, how wrong was I and how inspired each individual competitor must have felt, with their whole team supporting them in this way.
Another thing really struck me, this group of martial arts clubs really respected one another, and applauded their rivals when they did something great, and consoled them when things didn’t go too well.
I’ve learned a lot from the experience and will use them in our office solutions business. Yes, being an individual is a good thing. But being part of and getting support from a wider team really empowers you, and helps you achieve even greater heights.
And for the record, partly because of the support of their team, Scarlett Rose won a trophy and Benjamin won 2.