No pictures this time, but I wanted to let you know that we had a tournament recently, in Brenham again - the 2012 Fall Unified Taekwondo Invitational Championship.
This was the second tournament for myself and the Apple. Additionally, last weekend was the Princess's first tournament. All things considered, the Binjo Ditch clan fared pretty well. The Apple finished first in patterns, which is outstanding, and just off the podium for sparring (Apple's dad is convinced the Judges missed a point that would have put him at third). The Princess finished second in both patterns and sparring, which is outstanding for someone new to tournament life. I had to watch the second match she fought as I was assigned to spar at the same table as soon as her group was finished. Speaking of which, my sparring went pretty well. I am now a Blue Belt, which in ITF equates to about half-way to a black belt. In my group, I was paired up against a yellow stripe (first belt acquired after white belt) and a yellow belt (second belt acquired). I ended up fighting both individuals in sequence, winning both matches and thus taking first in my group. Us old guys really are an interesting group to watch sparring. Fortunately, I've been doing some cardio at the gym for the past few weeks, so I wasn't as dead out of breath after fighting as I was last tournament.
I don't particularly care for the tournaments. I don't like to fight, and really only do the taekwondo for the physical exercise. However, the tournaments are a requirement for black belt (another issue I have with organized martial arts is the mandated tournaments). At any rate, I'll be sticking with Taekwondo until I either get my black belt or the kids decide they're done, or I just run out of spare time to do it. At any rate, it's definitely fun. I encourage it for all who are interested.
At another point I'll discuss my understanding of the differences between the different styles of Taekwondo... because I know y'all are itching to hear!