BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
One major weekend down
A few more to go.  This weekend was time for tournament craziness.  Saturday!  All day.  I competed in forms and in sparring.  In forms I did moderately well, although the judges tend to favor non-Chinese martial artists for one reason or another.  Even Justin, doing an almost flawless (VERY difficult form), didn't place.  The guy who won was a very tall taekwondo martial artist who did a form I'm fairly certain he fabricated, consisting of many flying jump kicks.  Basically, lots of flashy looking stuff.  Which apparently worked.  Sifu was a judge, and he ranked him the same that he ranked me.  Sadly, it was not the same with the other judges.  Alas.  And sparring was an exercise in frustration, as well.  I ended up ranking fourth (among the adult lightweight black belts, out of six), but apparently I have a lot left to learn.  It's purely a game of tag, and my instincts kick in to actually try to take control of the situation.  Oh, I took control of the situation, and as soon as I did, they stopped everything to tell me the kick I grabbed actually counted as a point.  Many times.  It's hard to fight that instinct.  That, and the fact that the few times I did get in, the attacks I threw weren't VISIBLE enough for the other judges to see easily.  The center judge noticed (and, in fact, actually COMPLEMENTED me on) several of my attacks that he gave me the point for.  Sadly, three or more of the four corner judges never saw my attacks.  I guess for tournaments like these I should SLOW DOWN.  Ugh.  Silly point sparring.  Oh, and not only that, but one of the taekwondo guys I sparred was commenting on how my problem was that I squared up too much.  Meaning I showed too much of my front, and didn't turn completely to the side.  Yeah, buddy.  Try that in a continuous sparring match, and I'LL show you who has the problem.  Grr.
The tournament wasn't exquistely organized, so it took FOREVER.  An exercise in waiting.  And when you have to wait (until around five PM for the black belt sparring competition) without food, it starts sucking.  I do have to say thanks to a couple of friends who showed up to watch, and actually stayed until I sparred.  I think they had their own opinions about the judging being held there, as well as the nature of the sparring matches.  It was Sandra and a friend named Christina.  Christina got to see the glory that is Justin in a competitive environment, and I think she approved.  He did his forms almost flawlessly, and somehow the judges thought flashiness and flexibility is worth more than doing clean, precise movements that are much more difficult to do than a flying jump kick.  (Just FYI - if you're flexible AT ALL and can throw a kick worth a hoot, flying jump kicks are not hard to do at all.  I myself can kick someone a foot taller than me in the face with a flying jump kick, if I so desired.  But I DON'T desire.  It's much more fun to throw a nice low ground kick.  To the groin.)  Anyway.  It could have gone better, but it was still a learning experience.
And I was exhausted from all that learning, so I grabbed some food, then came back and crashed pretty hard, without even meaning to.  Of course, EVERYONE called me after I had fallen asleep, but I still slept pretty nicely.  I got up and had a night out, which was exquisite.  Just hanging with a friend.  Good stuff.
Today I went out with my dad, we had lunch and a movie (hey Courtney, it was a LAME evening).  We saw I, Robot.  I liked it a lot - the story wasn't quite up to Asimov standards at all, but it wasn't bad.  And some of the best special effects I've seen in a very long time.  Will Smith has a lot of charisma, I'll give him that much.
And church went well, the music turned out pretty nicely.  Guitars in tune, all that.  Always a good thing.  I had a slight nap after church, which is why I'm still awake now.  But I think it's time to sleep.  So to bed with me!  To find out the future of my employment options this week.  I'm going to stay optimistic.  And for you, Loyal Reader, I shall leave a rather hefty random link.  It's big, but worth it, I think.  See, some games you can finish, and they give you a nice ending to watch.  Others have sucky sucky endings.  And occasionally, just occasionally, some leave with a little bit extra.

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as of 10/23/03

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