Silver and Gold

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other, gold.
A circle’s round, it has no end. That’s how long I’m gonna be your friend”

I spent part of the last two Saturdays as a volunteer for the Cornhusker State Games, helping out with the Judo and Karate tournaments, which are run by the Lincoln Martial Arts Center dojo. I think some people may wonder why I continue to be involved with the dojo, even though I don’t really train there anymore (except for Ethridge Jiu-Jitsu class), and the short answer is (besides that it’s still where my husband trains and teaches) I care for many of the people there, so I want to help them out, since volunteers aren’t always easy to come by, and I have over ten years of experience doing it. The people I have come to know through the dojo are generally people who make me feel good about myself, and I enjoy their company (which is saying a lot coming from a confirmed introvert).

When I’m helping out at these tournaments. I feel wanted, needed, appreciated, and the atmosphere is also typically one of cooperation, support, and fellowship, with complaining and bad sportsmanship being rare. There was a period of time during the Karate competition yesterday when we were short on volunteers, so I had to run one of the scoring tables by myself, which was causing me some anxiety, but the center judge at my ring (Sensei Superman), kept reassuring me by saying things like “Take your time, there’s no rush”, and “You’re doing a great job”, which was exactly what I needed to keep me calm. It turns out that I am actually not bad at multi-tasking the table, and once I got over my initial stress, I didn’t have any problems running the table solo, but I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do that well without Kal-Ed’s support.

As far as the actual competition went, my favorite moments from both of the tournaments involved my husband. The first one was watching him get thrown by a thirteen year-old girl in an exhibition match at the Judo competition, because it seemed like small payback for all the many times he’s thrown me and I couldn’t throw him! The second moment was one of pride, when I watched Joe win a silver medal in a stacked Karate black belt kata division, and because I was able to see the score card, I also know that he only lost the gold by 0.2 points.

As long as the LMAC dojo continues to run these CSG tournaments, I will be there to help them out, and to see old friends. By all rights the dojo people could resent me for leaving there to train at Lincoln BJJ, but they still treat me like one of the family, and not a black sheep!


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