When we arrived at the arena I thought to myself I want to go home because this was like 'The World Championships'. There were so many different people and styles I just got really scared. When we actually entered the arena it was so different to normal competitions I was worried with everyone rushing past and the place was so big. We went and got changed and then we sat on the benches I was shaking I couldn't think straight all I could hear was people shouting, stamping around and testing microphones. The first voice I
heard clearly was Master Ameris he was very loud.
I started to actually calm down a bit but then Mr. Anslow came over with the times we were sparring or doing patterns. For the next hour or so there were all sorts of numbers and divisions being called out. I looked around the ten rings that were there and the centre stage, this was very different. There were flags and people everywhere. I watched several patterns until they called out my division, I didn't like the sound of that. When I was doing my pattern I tried to relax and remember every movement. When I finished I knew I didn't do as well as I had hoped and it was really annoying that you weren't allowed to see your scores because you had to turn around. When that had finished I felt really empty but I couldn't eat anything because I had to spar later.
By now the competition was running about 1 1/2 hours late and everyone was getting annoyed. Then I was having second thoughts about sparring because I saw people that might be in my division. I went to the toilet and on the way I saw a stalll that was selling all sorts of AIMAA things. The rest of us didn't win anything in patterns, we did well though.
When I went up for sparring I won the first fight but I got knocked out on the second, but the main thing was I took part and enjoyed myself. Mr. O'Connor got punched in the nose and his nose was broken. Mr. Anslow won silver in sparring and when I was watching him it was very rough. Mr. Anslow was practising his pattern and watching me spar and he missed his name being called out for patterns so he didn't win anything. Toni, Lyndsey and Kate did well in the patterns but didn't win anything. Mr. O'Connor on the second day won a bronze medal in black belt 2nd degree destruction. Mr Anslow lost in sparring against Master Darcy's son John Darcy Jnr. He won a gold in special technique destruction with a jumping front split kick. Kate won
a bronze medal in sparring and Lyndsey won silver in sparring. Kate performed an elbow in destruction but didn't win. The last day of the competition was the team finals and a demonstration, it was really good and
impressive. We got to meet lots of people e.g. Grandmaster Hee IL Cho, Jacob Cho, Jasmine Cho, Master Darcy, Master Ameris and Master Javed Kahn.
THE FIRST OPEN OPEN MARTIAL ARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS - A Students View
by Zoe Bennett