And out the other side of the first Southern Indiana Open Karate Tournament. It went really well, and people seemed to have a lot of fun. We had good participation - I counted 36 kyu ranks and more than 20 black belts at bow in. The rings all ran smoothly - at least everything I saw did, and I haven't heard any rumors of other problems.
We owe a ton of thanks to Sensei Heidi Gauntner, who brought her own team of people, and organized this thing on the ground. From registration to ring assignments to sparring rules, they were all over it, and I don't know that we could have done it at all without them. It certainly wouldn't have run a tenth as smoothly.
I did my first stint as a judge. It was shockingly tiring. At the end of the day I was more beat than if I'd competed. On the other hand, I had fun doing it, and I'm much less nervous now about being asked to judge at another tournament. Our ring started with the 6-10 novice, then had the 10-12 novice, and finished up with the 12-16 advanced. Three of our students (one of them being Robbie) ended up in our ring. Robbie did better than I expected, but not very well, given that he hasn't actually practiced the kata he did more than twice in the last two weeks. He finished nowhere and was pretty upset about it (and it really sucks to have to give your own kid a low score). One of our brand new white belts was in the same division, and he also finished nowhere, but was much happier about it, given that he's only been in karate about six weeks, and only finished learning his kata last week. He was thrilled just to get through it solidly.
The last competitor from our dojo in my ring was our teenaged brown belt, T. He did fabulous - the best I've ever seen him do either his empty hand or his weapons kata. He very nearly took weapons, but was done in by his own legs when he clipped himself in the calf with his bo. He also needs to adjust for his sudden additional inches of height. He stands like he's 5'4", when he's a good 3-4" taller now and still growing. He finished second to one of Sensei Heidi's students in both weapons and kata, but took first in kumite, 3-2.
We had one other competitor (12-16 novice), but I haven't found out how he did yet - probably in Tuesday's class.
Anyway - I'm happy, Sensei's happy, the competitors seemed happy with the competition. A good day's work all around. Topped off with Robbie and Aaron going off to an overnight stay with their friend, leading to dinner, a movie, and a nice lengthy visit to a bookstore for their parents. First overnight without kids ever! Woohoo!