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  • Matthew Powell

The Pressure of Potential and the Duty of the Doers.

Imagine being the young Rockstar walking out to perform at Wembley Stadium, or the immerging DJ Stepping out at Cream Fields for the first-time in front of thousands of people. What pressure, whatexpectation...... what a moment! Suddenly dreams are about to be realised and the vision becomesreality.

I am fascinated by the careers of successful Artists, what fires them, what inspires them, what fuels their insatiable appetite and drive? I enjoy understanding the back stories, the ups and downs, but most of all I like to understand who inspired them and helped them along the way.

When someone is ‘special’ everyone around them knows it. They may respond with kindness, respect, jealousy or even fear. The best people get involved and help. They play a part with support, advice and inspiration. Then at the point the inevitable happens, they step back, reflect and enjoythe part they had to play. These people, the ‘Best of People’ have nothing to lose, no need to feelthreatened, they love the ‘craft’ and genuinely want to see the next generation take it forward, afterall they had their turn in the spotlight. I call these people the ‘Doers’. Examples of exceptional Doers are Carl Cox, Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, David Beckham, Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Doer’s are free of expectation, they have been there and done it. Their Ego’s are at ease with thesuccess of others and I think that is largely because they are satisfied with their own success, they are always very self-aware. They remember what they wanted, how it felt and ultimately who helped them along the way. Some Doers may still be doing, but are just a little further down the road, they act a mentors and role models and play such an important role in the lives of others.

Competition in karate offers a pressure test, an opportunity to stand-out, a chance to break-through comfort zones and discover who you really are when the pressure is on! Everyone is watching and you can go from zero to hero in swift lift of a foot or sweep of the leg. I love it!

Our Christmas competition is for many people the favourite event on our AKA calendar. The hall is always filled with good-will and fondness for each other. It is great to see the youngsters develop from the nervous Merit Grades to the confident Ippon throwing cadets. The helpful judges and referees and others working the day have all without exception walked into the Dojo once as a raw beginner and since developed in many ways.

At this year’s tournament Officials began arriving at 8.30am to ensure the final set-up was complete and competitors were greeted by the friendly duo of Colin and Gill Galloway. A few children were running behind so we started just after the proposed start-time. That said with 3 areas running smoothly we were soon back on track.

What was particularly satisfying was that the dojos from Lancing and the Isle of Wight who joined us earlier in the year brought competitors and were soon amongst the medals.

In the Progress/Merit kata Owen Blake demonstrated excellent potential to take first place. He also came second in the Progress kumite after a close final with Eleanor Boddington. Owen was awarded the perpetual trophy for exceptional performance in the Progress categories.

In the 10th-6kyu category Felix Sweeney once again demonstrated excellent form to win the kata ahead of Joey Lelic. Grace King from Bembridge Dojo placed third while Bethany Lofthouse-Lewis proved that in runs in the family placing 4th in her first competition in-front of her 3rd Dan Dad and 5th Dan Grandad.

In the 5th Kyu and above category Jade ‘Axle’ Ivey rocked the bandana and was unstoppable with her kata. She repeated this performance in the over 4ft 9” 3-Step and beat the ferocious Lola Smith to secure 1st place and perpetual trophy for the Older Juniors.

In the under 4ft 9” Sanbon kumite the event was won by Tommy Turnbull Woodford ahead of thewarrior Cornmell sisters, who then went on to dominate the Jiyu kumite event. Georgia securing her own perpetual trophy to cement the performance.

In the over 5ft Kumite the South Downs ladies were once again showing their class. Victoria Street fresh from her recent squad success defeated Grace King from the Island who showed a lightening- fast kizami-Tsuki as a hint of things to come. Ella Ellis was fighting well and secured third whilst the spirit of Caitlin Beckles was there for all to see. Caitlin is a really dedicated trainer and rarely misses a class at South Downs, it was great to see her efforts paying off.

In the Male Cadet kumite ‘Gentleman-Jack Arnold’ defeated Ben Thorneywork’s Matrix-like moves in the final despite Bens flamboyant attempt at a nidan geri. In the female event Jacks Sister Bethany kept it in the family defeating Seren and Regan Evans into 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

In the Cadet Kata event South Downs dominated with Seren winning with Empi, Regan in 2nd, Jack in 3rd and Bethany in 4th.

Well done to all who dealt with pressure on the day and took one further step towards realising their potential. There is doubtlessly a number amongst you who have that special spark and we allenjoy watching you progress. As for all the referee’s, timekeepers and officials, well......Doers appreciate that they had their moment, their opportunity. They give advice freely and enjoy helping the next-generation along the way. They are engaged, enthusiastic and invested in thissuccess, because after all...... others did the same for them!

The day finished with the trophy presentations and obligatory photo-shoots. We were proud to present Louisa Jafkins with her Shodan diploma and it was great to see the shock on Sensei Chris Carr and Emma Williams faces as they were awarded their 5th Dans.

To all the Doers in our association, thank you......... See you next time.

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