In late October, I made a pledge to all of you. I promised that if you find a way to step outside of your comfort zone, I would step outside of mine by participating in a karate tournament. Well, I held up my end of the bargain. On February 12, 2011, I took part in the Friendship Cup Tournament hosted by Colorado Budokan. The type of routine that I performed was the Kata, which is fighting against an imaginary opponent. The type of kata that I performed was the heian shodan. There are various forms of kata to be learned, but when beginning karate, a person starts off with the heian shodan. In Japanese, heian means peaceful mind shodan means first level.
To say that I was nervous about performing my kata in front of people at the tournament would be an understatement. To be completely honest, I had doubts about my ability to do a good job. I did not want to disappoint my sensei, who has worked so hard with me for this event. My sensei has great patience because he takes the time to go over the routine with me several times until I feel comfortable with it. So, the day of the competition, I was feeling pressure, and kept asking myself why I was participating. I not only felt nervous, but it was visible to my sensei. As I was performing my routine, my arms and legs were shaking. However, through the voice direction of my sensei, I was able to get through the tournament. YAY!
I’m glad that I did not give in to my doubts and fears, because now I can tell others about how I completed something that I never thought I would be able to conquer. Throughout the tournament, people came up to my family and me to say that I was an inspiration. Being called an inspiration warms my heart, and if I made a difference in someone’s life by participating, then it was all worth it.