Last week, at the first ever local Kuro-Obi Open, space fell short. People came from many places including out of state to compete in the open -a Shotokan Regional led by the regional leader himself, our Sensei Oquendo.
Upon arriving, proud parents and karatekas of all ages were out in the hotel’s courtyard awaiting for the doors to open. Volunteers from the Dojo ran around putting all last details in place.
For a first event, we will stand by the fact that it was a pretty successful one.
We had an amazing line up of Senseis, guests including international Sensei Carlos Vasquez from Venezuela, standing by to judge in the various divisions throughout the day.
For our family it was also a first : the four of us were in karategis, and the fifth -for reasons mostly of lack of coordination- had to be taken care of (thanks to my sister in law and her family for helping) while looking on at her not-so-distant future as a martial artist herself
Competing was the added bonus.
Although waiting our turn was long, we all did compete except for Jorge Jr. who, despite signing on for Kumite, had no opponent ready in his division to take on; instead, he helped as referee at one of the mats along with dad throughout the event.
Diego competed in both Kata and Kumite in his division, taking both gold medals.
As an adult beginner, Tabitha competed in Kata in her division taking also gold.
I competed in both Kata and Kumite, taking silver and gold respectively; though my Kata I am told was more precise and technically clean, it was not a par in difficulty with the opponent’s during the last round of exhibition.
Sensei Oquendo was pleased, tired, and we truly thank him for hosting us all at this event, and for his continued commitment to the development of his karatekas of all ages.
Many more competitions, including Tokyo 2020, to come…
Remember, as Mahatma Gandhi once said : “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.”
You too can BE BLACK BELT ! OSS !!