Unfortunately, due to illnesses, only half of our competitors made it to the annual Henry Fought Memorial Youth Karate Tournament. But those of us who dodged illnesses and made the nearly two hour trek had outstanding experiences as usual. Not only did all three of our competitors place in their divisions, more importantly, all three of them earned the prestigious and highly coveted Sportsmanship award! This award is given out to only one competitor per division – with some divisions numbering well into the teens and even twenties. All the schools that attend this tournament are not only well skilled physically, but have very honorable students who demonstrate great sportsmanship and etiquette. They are such great schools – 540 Martial Arts, Oriental Sports Center of Cleveland, Junior Guardian Angels Martial Arts, and of course, Den of the Tiger – with great instructors. It is such an honor that our students can not only compete with them physically, but demonstrate the same level of honor and sportsmanship. One of the instructors and center judges who had a hand in selecting competitors for the Sportsmanship Award said it best when he said a sportsmanship award such as this one, which is so difficult to win, is far more important than any first place medal. And I couldn’t agree more! Great job students of Young Forest for representing your kwoon (kung fu school), your families, and yourselves so well! And thank you parents for raising such great and teachable kids! Without your life lessons and reinforcement of lessons outside the home (like martial arts), your children would not be half as great as they are.
Thanks Sensei Fought and Den of the Tiger for hosting such a great tournament. And thanks to the other schools mentioned above, and their instructors, for being such good representatives of Traditional Martial Arts culture and training such great students – and of course for helping Den of the Tiger by way of judging and refereeing. Thanks to all the senior students and assistant instructors who also helped judge, or assist in whatever capacity – you are the next generation of instructors, judges and refs; keep up the good work. And last but certainly not least – thanks to all the parents who also assisted in any capacity to make this tournament so great! It is truly your hard work and sacrifice that make these events possible.