Next Saturday is our dojo's first tournament. We have 19 competitors pre-registered (not counting our own students), and the estimate is for 30-40 total on the day. I probably won't be competing, but will be using the tournament for my first attempt at judging instead. I'm rather nervous about this, because I really don't want to screw something up and make someone's tournament an annoying experience (I've had a few tournaments marred by inexperienced, inattentive, or biased judges). Unfortunately, the only way to become an experienced judge is by being an inexperienced one, so onward we go!
How many competitors from our own dojo is very much an open question right now. There are two who are definite (our teen brown belt, and teen white belts), but we have a half-dozen new white belts, none with more than two months experience, who are excited about the idea of a tournament, but uncertain if they're ready to compete. They should all be there at least to observe, but I wouldn't blame them if they decided to sit it out just yet. Robbie hasn't made up his mind whether he wants to compete or not. Most likely he'll go for only kata, if he competes at all. He's having an awkward phase in his sparring right now, where he's finally starting to think about what to do instead of just flailing - but he's thinking too hard and freezing up.
The white belt kids are loving sparring, thus far. We have the usual white belt woes - control, hesitations and fear - but nothing that's scared any of them off yet.
In even better news, one of the kids has a mother who just started. It's an adult female student - Yay!!! She's hesitant, but liking it so far, and survived her first sparring night without incident. She's also a professional organizer, and she and I are now working together to put together Dad Wood's old room as my new sewing/knitting and karate room (yes, it's a sizeable room). I wouldn't have believed that everything could be fit into that room with enough space left over for kata practice, but it was. At this rate she may have a job with me for the next year or so, putting the rest of the house together, since my organizing skills are close to non-existent. I'll have to post some before/after pictures, but the difference in the room in incredible.
Tomorrow night is Sensei's meeting for the local black belts who are volunteering as judges. It'll be the first time I've seen a lot of these guys since we left KMA, so it should be a fun evening. Though I'll probably bring along a notepad, just to make sure I don't miss anything important.