Almost a week in Pittsburgh and we are getting ready to leave. Went by fast! Thought I would share a bit of what we saw and did.
Honestly, most of our time was spent between these two bridges at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the USA Karate Championship Tournament and US Team Trials. That is what brought us here, and it was so worth it!
Our home town of Bozeman is pretty temperate and dry in the summer (70s - 80's, not humidity to speak of) so the humid warmth of the East was a bit of an adjustment. I loved seeing these kids cope with it in the fountain just off of Market Square. (by the way, we had the best dinner at Pizzaiolo Primo in Market Square).
The Convention Center really was our "home" for most of the days - that's where all the karate action was!
My son and I came so he could compete in the Intermediate 16 year old groups. While he did compete in kata, his real focus was on sparring. But my photographer's heart could not resist photographing him practicing his kata prior to competition on Friday. All that light, all those windows, and most importantly, not red and blue mats to taint everything with colorful shadows!
His Kata routine went very well - probably his personal best! But let me tell you, those kids who specialize in Kata, wow! They are amazing. So, no medal for him in that catagory, but we weren't at all surprised by that. Doing his best was amazing to watch, and I am so proud of him for getting into the ring on the national stage and going for it!
Sparring really is his deal, and again, I am so proud of him for having the courage to step onto the national stage and put himself out there. I would be shaking in my boots, and he was confident and pleased to be there (with a few butterflies of course, but he worked through that to do what he loves and chase his long-term dream).
His first fight on Sunday was a strong win! You can't imagine the thrill of a mom watching that happen.
He was eventually defeated by this young man, who fought for the title and came in second. But Jansse was the Bronze medal winner, which is nothing to scoff at! Quite an accomplishment at this level.
The goals are lofty, but his hard work and determination seem to keep him moving in the right direction! His dad and I will stand behind him in this endeavor as long as he wants to stay in the game!
Next year the National Championship Tournament is in Salt Lake City - so much closer to home. He should be in the advanced group (black belt) by then, and he is already strategizing how to be better and have gold medal success there. Can't wait!