Saturday, March 19, 2005


The Midwestern Chinese Martial Arts tournament was today. I went. I sat. I competeted. There was much more sitting than competing.

I did the kung fu first form and the fan form. I won two silver medals in the intermediate division. I didn't fight; I've only been doing push-hands for about four months and I'm not near ready to compete in that.

The second-place ranking in empty-hand form was probably warranted. I should have done a more difficult form. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason that kid beat me. It was pretty late in the day by that time, I was bored with the whole thing, and I didn't really watch the other forms, so I don't know if they were good or not. But I do know they were a lot more complicated than what I did, so when the scores are close the judges will go with the more difficult-looking form.

The silver in weapons, now, that's a tragic story. I did quite well at the fan form; not my best perhaps, but rather good considering I had tunnel vision through the whole thing. Stage fright, you see, only seizes me at the inopportune moment when I set foot on stage. Still, I did well. I tied scores with this kid with a broadsword. So they had us perform again. I started into the form quite confidently; I was feeling good now, looser, more settled. Unfortunately I was so loose I dropped the fan.

I have not dropped my fan in probably five years. It defies belief.

The judges' faces actually fell--I saw their expressions drop, which confirms my belief it was going well up to that point. I said, "Shall I finish?" The head judge said, "It's up to you."

So I picked it up and resumed at the point where I'd left off. Did very well. Got the silver tho; no help for it. Many strangers came up to me afterwards and complimented my form. One man asked if I would teach it to his little girls. I said I would, but I'm reconsidering; what I said I'd charge him probably isn't worth the headache.

I'm still incredulous that I dropped the fan, and I rather wonder if it was a subconscious self-sabotage. Dunno. Other than that I have no emotional reaction to any of it, except annoyance that I wasted $50 and a Saturday.

The worst part was that the hard styles and the soft styles were held in two different rooms, and Sit and Mary Ann were judging, and everybody but me was doing soft styles, so I was basically abandoned with no support or cheering section. They did their best to come out and visit between events. I did get to hang with them a bit after my events were done, and watched push-hands. Tony won silver in push-hands. Heather got a bronze in Tai Chi Ruler.

I am not going to class tomorrow. I am going to model for Amber's photography project. I consider that a more worthy exhibition of my abilities than some silly tournament.

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