I competed in empty-hand kata and grappling. The kata I performed is called "Sunsu." The word means "strong man." That was Master Shimabuku's nickname. This is a difficult kata because it combines moves from the seven kata that come before it. This is the only kata that is actually an Isshinryu kata. Isshinryu is a combination of two other styles; Shorin-ryu (the Shaolin Way) and Goju-ryu (the hard-soft way). 5 of the 8 empty-hand kata come from Shorin-ryu, 2 come from Goju-ryu, and Sunsu was invented by Master Shimabuku himself.
I decided to perform this kata because it is usually considered to be a black belt kata, and I'm still a brown belt. I had hoped that it would impress the judges for a brown belt to perform a black belt kata. I ended up getting third place. That frustrated me. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Maybe I went too fast? I don't know.
I also grappled in this tournament. I had two matches. I lost both of them, so I got third (last) place. That didn't frustrate me as much as getting third place in kata. It was my first time grappling in a tournament. In the first match I probably would have won if I had taken my opponent down instead of her taking me down. I could tell she wasn't very experienced. She didn't try to submit me except for a couple of attempts at an arm bar, which I resisted. This match "went the distance." That means that neither of us submitted or "tapped out." We grappled for 4 minutes and it came down to points. Even though she didn't really do anything to me, she was on top, so she got the points and won the match.
There were only three of us grappling, so after the first match I got about a minute to rest and catch my breath, and then I grappled again. This time my opponent was more experienced. She took me down quickly and put me in an arm lock called a kimura. I'm very flexible, so it is often difficult to tap me out. Most of the time if I get put in a hold like that I can fight my way out of it, but this time I was already tired from the first match. I couldn't fight my way out of it this time, and I tapped out.
I am disappointed with my results in this tournament. I will train harder and try again in the tournament in November. I am determined to win first place in at least one division. These tournaments are my form of Sasuke, and winning first place will be my Kanzenseiha. I'll keep trying. I will win.