Sunday, April 24, 2016

BTOCC, Oxford, 24th April 2016

Today, I competed at the British Open.  This year, it was held at a much later date than usual.  It is the fifth time I have entered.  My experiences and successes so far have been mixed in the years I have competed.  In the first year of competition, I came home empty handed.  However, every year I have competed, I have taken home a medal, either silver or bronze.  Sometimes, I have earn't it, other times I got it by default.  Early experiences of competition were painful and looking back, I have changed so much.  Your first medal is always special, but the rest, I have not seen in the same light.  All I can say is that I came home with something.  It is painful when you see others go up again and again to collect medals, you you have only come up once.  Hardly the stuff of legends.  Being Chinese and sucking in Chinese martial arts is very embarrassing.  I decided two years ago to change my approach to training.  A friend of mine told me that my forms were nice to look at, but they were not martial.  The painful truth hit hard, but motivated me to work harder on everything.  I took a year out of learning the sword, to find time to get the basics right.  I had to find my identity and I don't intend to come last.  I have a number of silver and bronze medals.  I now need to collect gold medals and I want to come home with more than one medal.  Starting with the European Open 2015, it happened.

Things have not been great over the last six to eight months.  I still have the motivation to go further and train harder.  I train hard every weekend and every day, if time permits.  It has seemed a long time. Now I just want to do my forms and move on.  This year, I have made a number a changes to my forms.  However, as somebody who is well known for weapons, especially the spear.  I came last or out of the medals.  Sometimes, it is luck or lack of.  What is disheartening is when you see poor performances being awarded good marks.  But I will not give up and I will prepare for next year.

Success came in double gold for Men's Open Internal hand forms and Mens's Open Tai Chi hand forms.  This was not expected as my hand forms have usually been the weakest and I've not forgotten the shame and embarrassment of not even getting decent points.  So it is good to know that my hand form was well received.

To me, this year has been a mixed bag.  I would have wanted more medals, but silver and bronze will only make up the numbers.  So in a way, coming home with two golds in core categories is far better than gold in peripheral categories.  I got what I wanted, but the feeling is strange.  Part of me feels very annoyed that I didn't do well with my spear.  I have invested a lot of effort in my spear work.  I would have liked a gold in spear.  I'll get it, but it will not be this year.

After all that, I can relax and focus on other things…

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