2013 USANKF Karate Nationals in Greenville, South Carolina
Karate Nationals – if you haven’t gone, you should
This was my and Donald’s first time at the Karate Nationals and this year it was held in Greenville, South Carolina.
Many of you, who read this blog, have experienced our local ISKC Karate tournaments and even though they are excellent, the Nationals are a whole different world. The amount of competitors and the many different events made it one of the most interesting events that I been to yet.
I was fortunate to see many of my Sensei’s, some friends, along with my son compete in the style specific Shotokan kata division. Seeing them compete and also seeing them cheer each other on, no matter who won, was inspirational to say the least.
My son competed in the Shotokan specific kata and open kata divisions and although he didn’t take a medal, he did good for his first time at a national event. He ended up doing five katas in the open division and just barely missed placing but either way, he did the best katas that he ever did. Sadly, both he and I were competing at the same time and I was unable to catch his open katas on video.
The highlight for me, was when Donald entered the Iaido division and took thrid place against many seasoned competitors who had national experience under their belts. Even though he has only been training in Iaido for 18 months, his kata was excellent and he made Sensei Cieplik proud.
I also entered the senior division in open kata and even though I didn’t place, I one my first round five flags to zero and lost my second round three flags to two against a very experienced Shito Ryu competitor who ended up taking bronze. This was my first time doing Gojushiho Sho at a tournament and working on it for almost three years gave me more confidence than ever before. I expected to have butterflies and a nervous stomach but I was calmer at this tournament than any of the 30 local tournaments that I have entered.
Overall this was a great experience. All the people were very nice, the scenery on the trip there and back was awesome, especially the mountains, and the town of Greenville was extremely nice.
I want to thank my Sensei’s, Sensei Cieplik, Sensei Noia, Dr. Kathy Bailey, Sensei Plocharczyk and Sensei Gatch for preparing Donald and I for this tournament. I would also like to thank my wife, Deneise and my son Donald for helping with the details on my kata and an extra thanks to Dr. Kathy Bailey for driving out to my house almost every weekend to help me fine tune my katas.
I am glad that I was able to experience Nationals and even though I am not sure when we will be able to go again, it was an expensive few days, I am hopeful that we will be able to do this again.
Below is the link to my original quick post that I typed after we came back: