Well, I'm back from Ohio and the Lennox Legacy Tournament. We had six people in all show up from our dojo, which is the most I've seen even in local tournaments. That we got that many to a tournament six hours away seems quite miraculous.
The tournament was a lot bigger this year than last. Last year there were five contenders in adult intermediate kata (men & women combined). This year we had almost a dozen. Last year there were two of us in women's adult intermediate kumite. This year there were eight of us.
I'm satisfied, though not thrilled with results. Personally I took a third in weapons (which I am thrilled about), was middle of the pack in kata (which is fine considering how new I am to this kata), and nowhere in kumite. Both of us adults from my dojo finished nowhere in kumite, probably due to the lack of practice lately, plus the small number of adult students in the dojo to practice on. We felt reasonably encouraged though, as none of the fighters in our division seemed out of reach to us. They weren't faster, or more skilled particularly, they just adjusted for our fighting style faster than we did for theirs.
There was one guy in the intermediate adult ring who was majorly impressive though. He took gold in kata, in weapons, and in the mens kumite. Nice guy too - so if anyone knows Taz, tell him congratulations!
The kids had a mixed day - we had two beginner little girls, and two pre-teen boys - one intermediate, one advanced. There was a mix-up in the beginners 8-11 ring, and several competitors were allowed in who belonged in the intermediate or advanced rings. Seriously, there was a brown belt in the beginner's ring. As a result one of our girls took 4th. Had the more advanced people been removed, she would definitely have medalled. Our intermediate guy took a medal in kata, as did the advanced guy. One took 2nd and one took 3rd, but I'm not sure which was which.
The only disaster of the day was with advanced 8-11 fighting. The coordinators moved which ring the kumite was in, after the kata had finished, and they failed to announce it over the loudspeakers. Since our advanced boy had wandered over to the ring next door to watch the intermediate boy fight, he missed the switch, and was not allowed to fight, which upset him terribly. He would likely have done well, too. We have a plethora of intermediate-to-advanced preteens in our dojo, so they get the kind of varied fighting practice the adults don't, and generally do quite well in tournaments. I do wish they would be more careful about that sort of thing in the kids' rings. If there's a screw-up with the adults, that's one thing, we can deal. For the kids it can feel like the end of the world.
After the tournament there was a bo seminar by Hanchi-dan Duessel. It was fascinating, and I learned a lot, though I came away feeling like my head was just stuffed. There were some distinctly odd moments though, as the bulk of the participants were black belts, some quite advanced, and Sensei Duessel spent a good deal of the seminar instructing them (quite severely) on how to properly go about teaching bo. He appears to take quite personally the general failure of Isshin-ryu dojos to properly teach weapons' basics before starting the students in on kata. We did cover a lot of the basics in the process of showing how to teach, though, so there was plenty there at my level for me to bring away and work with.
All-in-all I had a great time. The more people I meet in the larger Isshin-ryu community, the more comfortable I get at these events, and the more I enjoy them. Of course it would be nice to start walking off with more medals, but in the meanwhile I'm enjoying myself anyway.