My 2nd tournament - on my own this time. Reflecting on the day, it's better to have a partner that you can warm up with prior to a fight.
I went in cold against a heavyweight black-belt for my semi contact fight. I didn't find any rhythm or use my speed, and was rattled a bit by his heavy hitting. Still, as I'd volunteered to move up a category to give him a fight I had earned the 2nd place medal.
My name was called out again. When arriving at the fighting area, My coach, Brian, was waiting for me. He said "You won't need this sash for full contact" and removed the green sash from around my waist. This was it - my 1st full contact fight! Brian had already revealed that my opponent wasn't strictly a novice like me and also had a weight advantage. Basically I took a battering for 2 x 2 min rounds but avoided being knocked out. When my opponent tired in the 2nd round I managed to tentatively land a few punches and kicks, but not much else to say really. I received another 2nd place medal as the loser of this fight.
Almost straight after I was called to a 'light contact' fight. I was warmed up now even if slightly tired and bruised. I won this fight easily - probably as I was still in full-contact mode! This got me through to the light contact final.
I fought against Lee Rankin from Scotland in the final, and although we were evenly matched he was better than me at the time, esp. as I was feeling knackered. Still, this was yet another 2nd place medal won in the light contact.
My last fight if the day was another full contact fight, also against Lee again! Having just lost to him in the light contact and not feeling too good at this point (headachy/bit dazed) I nearly pulled out. The medical staff checked me over and I spoke with Lee and we agreed to fight as planned. It was a great fight!
Again we were evenly matched and I managed to summon enough energy to get through the 2 x 2min full contact rounds. It was a very close fight and the judges were split in their decision. It seems that I won on points but when the 'counts' (timeouts to recover after being knocked down) were factored in we were even. The referee awarded me the fight, I think on the basis that one of the times I was knocked down was more of a push than by kick boxing, so it went my way.
This was a good end to the day, and unexpectedly I was awarded a big boxing champions belt instead of a trophy which was great.
As you can see from the photo, my face (especially my nose) took a battering, but regardless of this and the other numerous minor injuries sustained, I went home smiling and played the 'award ceremonies game' quite a few times with my kids before passing out!