Sunday, August 10, 2008

First Taekwondo Tournament

Today is Francis' first ever tournament. Whatever the title or event that was, I really didn't care. It was a tournament, alright, and Francis will be in it.

If I had my way, I never would have allowed my son to be in the tournament. He's still a baby and he's still too young to be in a fight. But it was my son who insisted in joining this tournament, very much like how he insisted on enrolling in taekwondo versus swimming a couple of months back.

So, with reluctant zealousness over his first official fight, we went to SM Sta. Rosa.

We were told that we should be there before 10am, but we we're late. As soon as we arrived at the Activity Area of the mall, parents who recognized Francis zoomed their way towards us and asked "Naku, tinawag na ba si Francis?" "Alam n'yo na ba kung anong armor s'ya?," "Ba't ngayon lang kayo?" But even before I could get irritated by these questions, each of them were helping me get Francis dressed into his taekwondo uniform. Touched naman ako.

He got dressed in record time and we were directed inside the tournament area where some of the other Bosconians were doing a warm-up. Not sure of where I should position Francis, I told him to run towards his coach and ask him where to stay.

True enough, Francis' name had already been called and he needed to fight right away. The coach asked his assistant to let Francis do a warm-up. But two 45-kicks later, he was already summoned to fight. Nyek! Instant?!

Francis looked disoriented on what's happening around him. I'm not even sure if he understood that he's already in a competition. Everything had been too fast since we arrived, I can imagine it might have seemed like a blur for him. But there's no backing out now, he's here right now in the tournament area, being introduced to his opponent.

I readied my camera to take photos of Francis. Despite the fact that I hated setting my camera in ISO 1600, I had no choice. He was too far away from me to get a decent shot. Not even fully satisfied with the settings I made, I kept firing away as Francis' fight already began.

I don't know a lot about taekwondo. I had no idea if he was making points or not. It was only when I heard his coach shouting "Francis, sumipa ka! Sipa! Matatalo ka n'yan!" did I realize that he's really not making any scores.

After 12 shots later, yes, 12 continuous shots, the fight was over. Francis' score is 1, and his opponent's is 8. In other words, talo.

I didn't know what I should feel at that time. Should I be disappointed over his loss? Should I treat it as a challenge so he'll do better in his next fight? Or should I just see the cuteness of the entire scenario -- it's Francis' first fight and there's really no point in getting too serious with it?

Before I could even process it, he was already ushered outside the tournament area. He's ready to go, according to the Asst. Coach.

As fast as we got him dressed into his taekwondo uniform, we had him changed into his normal clothes. Since I'm not the type of Mom who makes small talks with other parents, we left the tournament area immediately.

To summarize, the travel from our house to SM Sta. Rosa had been longer and more tedious than the actual time spent at the tournament. Hehehe!

As a consolation, I treated my family (well, more like Francis since he didn't get to see this before) to watch "The Dark Knight" and a late lunch in Tagaytay. Instead of going home and feeling lost (because we really did lose), I decided to make the most of the rest of the day.

Click HERE to see more of Francis' photos in his first tournament and in Tagaytay.