Oh, it was a tough day for Dudely. Graham fought valiantly but, in the end, he would loose a very good match. Ironically, he lost using the very same kick that assured his victory in the last tournament. Graham took an early lead. He truly dominated the first round. He was moving well. At the first bell he would be leading 2-0. The second round was more balanced. His opponent came out far more aggressively. It was not long before the match was tied up. Twice Graham was scored on while moving in towards his opponent. In short, he left himself open to a couple of quick kicks. They were so quick (and light) that I didn't really even notice them until I reviewed the video. None the less, they scored.
Despite the evenness of the match, Graham still appeared to be the stronger of the two. Graham's next quick was a beautiful kick to the head. Unfortunately, at this tournament, they were not allowed. Instead of earning him 2 points as it did in the last tournament it cost him a point. In his mind that was a 3 point swing. I, too, was a little surprised that they did not give him a warning as that was normal protocol. Graham was devastated and that incident, combined with the limited time on the clock, quickly led to his defeat.
When asked about the head shot he claimed that he did not know - although Master Paul had told him to keep his kicks to the body before the match. Graham was heartbroken and it took several hours for him to recover.
Like I said before, I was not concerned with outcome. I thought Graham fought better than I had ever seen before. I was truly proud. This year he is at the bottom of his age group and next year will be even a better opportunity for him to medal. As I told him, these were the absolute best 6 and 7 year olds from around the country. He did well just to get there.
Today Graham and Sydney both compete in the forms competition. Both of them have a chance to medal. Their forms are strong. However, the will both need to defeat their own demons. Graham will need to get passed his nerves and Sydney will need to defeat her fears as well. It will be a great experience for the both of them. I hope they do well, but again, these are the best of the best. They have their work cut out for them.
On another note, yesterday their were 3 other fighters from GSX on the mats. Gio and Vivian both made it through the preliminaries and both won bronze medals. Late last night Jamelyn won gold. That is at least her second national championship in a row.
Not a bad first day of competition.
The second day will require a mountain of purpose.