Last weekend I took part in my second WKF style Karate competition and it just happened to be the Karate Ireland (ONAKAI) Senior National Championships. For past few years I have competed in -55kg in Kickboxing and so I took part in the same weight category in this new sport. Although a very competitive person, I really wasn’t sure about how the competition would turn out for me. I got off to a very dodgy start by charging in towards my opponent and she was awarded three points for a defensive kick….I’ve now learned the hard way in Karate that solid contact doesn’t necessarily have to be made with the target and actually there is limited contact rules which doesn’t always suit someone who likes to hit hard!!! I managed to get my act together after that, enjoying the two fights I had and won the title on a overall points score…I was absolutely chuffed.
Starting a new sport for me was about taking on a different challenge and having some fun. So far it has been both but of course the competitor in me can’t just do it for the taking part and I have really enjoyed the couple of competitions that I have entered over the 3 months I have been doing Karate. Learning the different techniques has been interesting and I know I’ve a long way to go; when you’ve punched a certain way for twenty years changing that overnight is not as easy as I thought! Reading the rulebook has been fairly handy as I’m really a total geek when it comes to this stuff but when all the techniques and referee calls are in Japanese it becomes a little harder!!! Definitely the most difficult part of starting a new sport when you’re one of the best in a different sport for a couple of decades is going in there at the very bottom. From being the best to being the worst was a shock! Although I have improved quickly over the last three months, you come into a new sport with the baggage of an ego and possible over confidence that gets knocked out of you pretty quickly. For now though I am having plenty of fun with this and the icing on the cake is to win a National Title so early on the journey. Now I’m just looking forward to seeing what the next challenge brings with it.