On Sunday, July 15th, I competed in Toronto Open Tournament at Markham Pan Am Centre and captured the Gold medal in kumite. This event was sanctioned by the Ontario Karate Federation and in some of the older age groups, cash prizes were awarded to each division winners. This is the second year that I’m competing in this particular competition. Last year I competed in both kata and kumite and captured Gold in kumite and Bronze in kata.
On tournament days, I usually wake about very early in the morning as my age division (cadet 14-15) begins early. Normally, I lose my appetite during competition days, however I try to gain energy by drinking calorie-packed smoothies, dates and bananas. And of course, lots of water before and after each match. I usually get my mind ready by warming up and practicing my technique. Getting up and active takes my mind away from the nerves of the upcoming match. I sometimes also listen to upbeat music on my headphone. This helps to get me energized as well.
As this tournament in an Open event, it’s open to other provinces and even countries to register their athletes. So every year, there are other athletes that compete on behalf of their respective countries as well as other provinces (usually from Quebec). Some of the best Canadian karate athletes that are in the Senior and Junior national team reside in Ontario, so we see lots of familiar and well-known faces at the even every time. Some senior athletes also happen to be among the best in the world and top-ranking in their categories. We will soon see them in the Olympics for Tokyo2020 hopefully.
Overall, it was a great experience as always. The trainings leading up to the event were intense like before. There are no easy days. I competed with blisters on my feet like before, but by now I’m used to it. Even after the tournament, our summer trainings are getting especially harder and I there are more days that we spend at the dojo than usual. I’ve started training for a new category, group kata as well. My group is very strong so we have our eyes set on making it past the provincials, then becoming national champions. And hopefully after that, we are thinking ahead and we have our eyes set on international events. It’s always good to plan ahead and be optimistic. Right now, the skin on my left two has completed peeled off and it’s making it difficult for me to walk normally, nevertheless wear heels. But I do it anyway, because this is the life I’m used to and I chose for myself. The hard days are what makes a champion anyway, so I’m in for the difficult times as well as the victories.
Friends, always remember, success is not easily attained. The end result is what people see, but what they may not know are the pain, sweats, injuries, tears, extra hours you spend in the gym/dojo, the fun activities you cut from, the mental and emotional stress that you go through and lots of other compromises that you make, financially and physically. The athletes that reach the Olympics have dedicated their entire lives to their sport! They deserve all the respect they can get from their country. I certainly hope that one day, with continued hard effort, dedication and great results I would be able to reach the Olympics too. I’m still too young for Tokyo2020 due to age restrictions for katate but if I continue to work hard and progress I may be able to in future like 2024 or 2028. Future is bright.
Please enjoy the video I made for the Toronto Open below:
By yours truly,
Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018