Usa | Teen Ink


October 16, 2019
By Anonymous

Sitting there on the ground stretching before a long hour of bag work he starts telling us how each and one of us have the chance to medal at worlds. Over the week we get more and more into the idea of competing for worlds, then we finally decided that 3 of us will be going to compete to make team usa. “You have to motivate yourself no matter how much you want to give up” Our Team captain jacob said as we have a 2 minute bag workout. Jacob was always very inspirational and motivated, he has the most spirit and heart when it comes to Martial arts and competing, always wants the best for the team. My oldest sister Angel and I always have a hard time getting motivated to even show for class but once we get there we are very focused on what needs to get done. 

My dad was looking up the WKC destination, WKC stands for “World Karate/Kick boxing commision” it's what our worlds tournament is called and its 5 days long, 5 very long days, We know that worlds this year will be in Dublin, Ireland. My dad told me if i make Team Usa he will add a vacation to sweden on our trip for worlds, Sweden was my favourite place in the world so hearing that made me a lot more motivational. Every friday night we would head to Mr Plowden's club, he was the Host for Team USA, but he also had a club and his 2 kids are the best fighters in the world, they haven't lost Mens or the Women's division in 4 years. Mr Plowden's class was the scariest place, A lot of people would go down there and a lot of people were so intimidating even scarier is that i had to rotate around in a room with matts and fight each and everyone of them for half an hour, Even though the class was harsh and a bit ridiculous it helped so much. I hated going down before every class i would just get so annoyed, angry and unmotivational, But after the class I would feel so much better about myself. I could feel my physically getting healthier through each class we go to and my movement and technique was getting so good too.

“You're representing something bigger than yourself” Dad said, over and over again after every class. We always got sick of him saying the same thing over and over but we knew he had a point to get across. Jacob and my dad were super close and even worked together, outside and inside karate they always talked and worked on improvements for our team. My oldest sister felt she was being left out because she was co captain, even tho she came up with the idea of our team name “Hit Squad” and becoming a team was because her. Not only did she come up with it she also there a lot more and had more experience than our captain jacob, she hated that he got the most attention knowingly when it came to the team and how well we all work together and how supportive we are.

 Angel is a mess, very full of herself and always thinks she deserves more than she gets but she does alot for herself and her family. This Team was the pride of our club and gave the idea to other kids at the club to join, We truly made a family out of it. Playing with my gear and fixing it up with tape early in the morning my dad is rushing us out the door for nationals day. Nationals was the tournament that decided if you really made Team Usa or not. Dad would scream about all of our gear and uniforms, “Do you have all your gear? Not Missing anything? Once we get on the road I'm not turning back around.”. On our road trip to the tournament we always get food, the same thing everytime and i mean Mcdonalds every time, I can still remember what Everyone's orders. I start breathing heavy from the butterflies in my stomach, No matter how many tournaments I go to I still get sweaty palms and anxiety from the competition. As a team we go into together, pay, set our bags down, and start warming up. Sadly the 

tournaments start at 8 am and can go until 4pm, But this tournament is a bit different because its nationals and we have a lot more people trying to go for team usa. Angel, jacob, my little sister and I warming up on the matts, waiting for more of our team mates to show up so we could help each other on forms or our technique with the big mistakes we always make. 8Am is when the continuous matches start, Continuous is another term for kickboxing used in martial arts, I do continuous. Continuous fighting is the only thing i do for worlds because the competition for point sparring and forms is a bit too complicated for me than others because of my weight, plus i have a natural talent for fighting. Only of us are competing for worlds, we don't train as hard as we do for worlds but nationals is also very important; if we don't have nationals then everyone will go to worlds and nationals cuts down our team so its even with other world competitors.Finally after warming up for 30 minutes, continuous starts and my division is up first. Angel behind me while im throwin my gear on as I walk to my ring telling me what to do and trying to coach me before the match even starts as usual, “Do not kick from the ground and use your chamber, you have to be fast, More combinations”. Jumping up and down, pasting across the ring, back and forth, Warming up for my match, im pretty big girl for my age so i only have one girl to fight, we both medal and we will both make it to worlds but to me gold was getting more important after the relief of knowing that I am still going to worlds no matter what. I was very tall for my age; the girl was 5’3, at the time I was 5’9, the height difference was pretty noticeable and my sisters excitedly on my side saying i have this in the bag. After 2, 2 minute rounds with a 1 minute break in between, I won and made it to worlds on Team USA with a gold medal from nationals.

5 Months later and we are on our way to Ireland, Dad, Mom, Angel and I all packed. Nervous for our big trip. “God dammit everyone put your bags in the damn car and lets go!” my dad said with an impatient temper. Slowly Walking to the car I'm thinking of how long I'll be gone for, I get to miss school for 2 weeks and even though that's pretty relaxin i will have to stress over the work i will be missing. My sister Angel has done this longer than me and is more used to traveling and competing than me. Our plane ride was 8 hours long and we only had a few days to adventure before worlds started. Impatiently I passed around my ring waiting until I fought, Of course I was up first out of 7 seven girls. I beat my first 2 girls and I moved up for gold.Our Uniforms were black with a yellow lining and our “Hit Squad” logo on the back.  I didn't fight until the last day of worlds and worlds was 5 days long so we sat around for a couple days waiting eagerly trying to pass the time faster. The days past and it's my time to fight, Everyone gold medal round is 2 rounds for 2 minutes with a 1 minute break in between. Shockingly, after thinking no one would support me besides my family; the first round everyone around me chanting for me and annoyingly trying to coach me and tell me what I need to do. In my 1 minute break i had so many supporters and adults come up to me and tell me what to do to win, Of course I listened but it was so hard to listen to everyone when im out of breath and im nervous as hell. I won both rounds and i took gold, 2017 wkc world tournament and i took gold. Everyone was high fiving, and cheering for me, ive never felt better, the room felt bigger than it did before after winning my fight. I’m not a very emotional person but being apart of team Usa really Changed me. Making Team Usa and competing really impacted my life. I think traveling was my favorite part because I really learned a lot and saw a lot of different things that I've never seen before being stuck in one place for long really makes you forget what else is out there with all the negative and positive things about new environments. My Family and my friends being proud of me made me feel so much better about myself making me feel like trying really does help and the more progress I have in training, the better I can be. Competing really got me to bond with new friends and coaches on the team and it made me realize how much I've changed and how much i left my comfort zone really improved me.

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