Mixed feeling about competing in Fiji

Kyokushin guys: Sailas, Junior (Jux), Theo, Gabby (Lapun) and myself during the National Championships last month.

I got mixed feelings this week regarding my selection to participate in the Fiji Open Karate Titles in Suva come September. I’m excited at the prospect of representing my country at an international event. However, I’m plagued with fear that I won’t be able to perform as expected and I’m also worried about the levy fees.

Okay, I’ve been training Kyokushin Karate for more than five years now. I started out in 2007 when Sensei Wally Schnaubelt reopened a dojo at Boroko’s Garden City. However, only last year I was introduced to speed karate or point contact by my Sempai, Sailas Piskaut.

Just late last month, I competed in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Karate Championships and managed to get as far a second placing, wining a silver medal in the 75kg division. It was my first time to compete but I have impressed the selectors and judges – and earned a place in the team to Fiji.

Unfortunately, the levy fee is K3000 and must be paid by August 3 (next month!). Now, this is a large sum of money to come up with in a month. I’ve requested an official letter from PNG Karate-do Federation (PNGKF) so I can seek sponsorship from business houses. However, I fear that time is against me.

Another thing I’m fearful of is performing to the expected standard. I’m relatively new at this sporting style and going up against more experienced competitors is concerning. Now, I’m sure Fiji has some good karateka thanks to Sensei Mark Vele and others.

I’ve had the good fortune to attend a seminar by the sensei and I was very impressed so I know Fiji will be a standard higher. However, it would be a good opportunity for me to hone my skills; like the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”

On the other hand, I’m proud that I’ve been able to adapt into a different style that I’m usually accustomed to. Kyokushin (my style) is known for full contact kumite (no padding or protective gear) and its hard training and conditioning which is probably a reason I am able to fit in easily.

Anyway, all rambling aside, I’m hoping that I get that letter early next week so I can start looking for funds to attend the competition.

I’ll keep you all posted on progress of this adventure.

Author: Bernard Nolan Sinai

I’m a writer, publisher, IT personnel and martial artist.

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