When Sensei Cody mentioned that there was a virtual karate tournament coming up we thought it sounded suitably amusing and as it was free figured no harm in signing up. Turns out many people around the world have been missing their regular stream of tournaments and had the same idea. With over 200 in over 850 events in a variety of countries across the globe they had to split it into two days. They did an excellent job of running it and the whole thing was very professional. The judges even took the time to give feedback to the participants which was amazing (that basically never happens). Elizabeth was amusingly enough nervous before the tournament (which boggled our minds as this one didn't count for anything). Her mean parents made her do it anyway. She decided that outdoors would be best as there would be no concerns about running out of space. After experimenting with shoes on and off she decided to do it with them on as the grass is full of sticks and other things which poked and tickled her feet. First up was kata for Elizabeth. We weren't sure what type of competition she would be up against. Turns out at her level it was basically all kids who would be competing for spots on their country's team to compete at the world championships. Many had extremely impressive setups at home complete with mats and all kinds of training gear (and palm trees!). We were amused by the number of competitors that had significant hardware from previous tournaments on display, although a special shout-out needs to go to the one kid competing outside. She actually obnoxiously dragged all her trophies outside as a backdrop to her performances (!)
Elizabeth put in a very impressive performance but did have a small slip on the grass. She placed 7th (roughly middle of the pack). She then had bo. This was her first time competing against anyone outside of the dojo in bo, but she put on an amazing performance coming 7th again. Given that she's still doing a fairly basic bo kata this was quite impressive. A number of our neighbours saw her and were either frightened, impressed or both. Then Matthew had his turn at kata. He still needs to focus a bit better but put on a respectable performance. He placed 7th as well.
On Sunday we had the kicking and toilet paper challenges. For the kicking challenge contestants had to stand on one foot and do as many of a particular kick as possible in 60 seconds. If they touched their kicking foot to the ground they were done even if the 60 seconds weren't up. 60 seconds is a loooong time to stand on one foot let alone be kicking like a crazy person. Elizabeth managed between 120-130 kicks in her 60 seconds. This was good enough for 4th. Mommy and daddy tried this afterwards and managed 50 and 75 respectively. Then there was the TP challenge. For this one contestants had to balance on one foot, place a roll of TP on the other foot and extend it out until the leg is straight. Then they had to toss it up in the air and kick it out of the air using any kick of their choosing. They had 3 chances to give it their best kick. If the roll drops that's one chance down. Elizabeth managed to kick the roll all three times (one of the few contestants to do so) and even managed to hit mommy with her first shot. She came 5th. All that practice clearly paid off ;-)
All in all it was great fun (although just like a real tournament there was a lot of sitting around waiting for one's turn so as to not miss it). Elizabeth even conceded that it was fun in the end and both her and Matthew have demanded that we sign up for the next one in two weeks time.