Monday, February 19, 2007

day 2 of sparring

friday, feb 16

day two was my day of sparring. the short of it is, master chuang said that "strong technique is more important than strong strategy" and this is more true at an international tournament than anywhere else. all the players from other nations had such strong basics, and hit with indisputable points. it was much more important to be able to hit those single points than to be able to string together a long complicated strategy or combo.

i lost my match 5-1. i think my feelings about my match are skewed by my preconceptions. but in general i think that maybe it is better for me to focus on getting that single hard kick, the solid counters, the solid footwork, before working too much more on the mental/strategic aspect of my game.

the brackets were huge. fredson made it the farthest, maybe into the 4th round or so, but he still lost in the semifinals, to either netherlands or canada, i forget. again, i see the same things in these matches - the european fighters, and the chinese bantamweight girl, had such solid indisputable points. most of the time, any american fighter you watch seems to be chasing an unhittable target, and each point their opponent took was just a matter of avoiding enough kicks and finding the openings. not that this was true everywhere, but the few spectacular players i watched were all similar in that aspect.

bantamweight is one of those funny weightclasses - nathan says it's a transition weight class. it's not quite heavy and powerful like the featherweights begin to be, and it's not quite small and quick and airborne like the fin/flyweights. but what i noticed in the finals was that bantam fighters seem to all possess an extraordinary level of trigger-happy jumpiness, more than the finweight finals, more than the other ones i saw. maybe that's just the two fighters who made it to the finals - maybe that's just the current style of bantamweights. but feel that to be successful i need to be more alert, quicker, and still have those harder kicks. move like a finweight, kick like a welter.

that evening we went out to tony roma's, and had some great ribs. i should have ordered my own blue moon when i had the chance because for the rest of the trip no restaurant had anything close. but almost everyone at my table got ribs or rib samplers, accompanied with bad jokes about "racks". in the end i ate my own ribs and salmon, maybe another half rack between nathan, erica and mike's ribs, a bunch of appetizers, and half of fredson's sandwich, which he couldn't eat because he eats like a girl. and that's just the beginning of the gluttony that would make up the rest of the weekend.

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