Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The 7th TCFE European Open, 11-12th April 2015, Oxford, UK.

On Saturday 11th April, I entered the 7th European Open tournament for Tai Chi and internal arts.  This is the second time I entered a European competition.  The first was Italy in 2012, and prior to that, I was inspired to compete when I watched the 2010 European Open (Oxford).

My competition record has not been great.  I have won medals from most competitions, but my mental form hasn't always been how it should have.  My forms were erratic and lacked quality.  Since I was 2014, I have made a personal promise to train harder and to eradicate as many bad habits as possible.  I sought and listened to advice.  I changed my forms to what is perceived as correct and what judges like to see.

In the past, my weapon forms have been the better forms I perform, whilst hand forms were very poorly coordinated.  I have trained hard to change how I perform.  On the eve of the competition, I knew my forms were much better than they were.  However, I have no illusions that my hand form will be any good.

The results at the end of the event was:
Wu Style open mens hand form - Gold
Wu style open spear - Gold
Internal spear open mens - Silver
Wu sabre open mens - Silver
Internal sabre open - Bronze

I was quite shocked that I won gold at hand form.  I didn't seem to recall getting a great score and I told myself to forget it and go and try harder on my spear form instead.  This was a massive boost to my confidence and my efforts have paid off.

I was also very please I took gold for spear.  For many years, I fancied winning this, but my spear form was just not good enough.  It often entertained the audience, but not the judges, so I always left with poor scores.

I am very happy indeed, but I won't let it get to my head.  It is a start of a new beginning and it means I have to work hard to maintain these standards.  I have always came out of competitions feeling that I didn't achieve much.  But the fault is largely my own and I lacked the humility, patience and maturity.  I didn't see or want to see the errors of my ways.  In hindsight, perhaps it is a good thing I didn't win back then.  I now see it all and I appreciate my medals a lot more.  I can look forward to new challenges and move on.