Submitted by Goh Ray June
The 12th Powersport Championship was a smashing success! Anybody who loves a good fight is here and bam! Not a minute into the first round and fighters are giving all they have into the fight—six-year-olds are literally stumbling around as they shoot out tiny legs, punching baby fists and thoroughly dulling us who wanted more action. Parents are clamoring for their kids as you won’t get another legal fight anywhere else.
Moving on to the secondary boys, they are putting on an exciting and entertaining show for us audience as 360 turning kicks, back thrusts and heavy kicks are aimed to beat down their opponents. The boy’s arena is packed with energy and power! Yes, the audience cheered and groaned when loud thuds are heard, depending on which side you are on.
What about the secondary girls’ side? I can see lots of first-timers thrown around the ring—they will not be bullied next time, will they?—and some seasoned fighters confidently using techniques to score the points and win the game ( easily discerned by their excellent stamina, signs of year-round practicing). Girls have less strength, but are more nimble and quick in the field.
Before we get on with the experienced and the foul, let’s see what tips we can give as a shrewd observer to the brave and the beaten first-timers. I took some advice from the seniors after I lost the game and their strategies are not to be missed. First, make sure you know where to park your leg before you kick—the back, chest, side or stomach? If aims are loosely-aimed, every kick will be wasted on hands and buttocks and you get nada points. Next, always kick for a reason and do not waste your energy just blindly kicking if you have not adjusted distance. Remember that a good loud thud on the vest is better than attempts blocked by the hand—so choose quality over quantity, if you know what I mean. Distancing is such a wide lesson to be learned (honestly I have not mastered it yet) but you must always judge how far you should be from your opponent. Unless you are always quicker, a step back (you get kicked) and a step in (you can’t kick) counts a lot. Last but not least, stamina determines how well you perform in the next round and how powerful your kicks will be after the first few ones. If you can’t train it, you can’t have it.
The list up there looks like it got all my weaknesses, but I have the impression that we generally have the same weaknesses. Good luck can only get us so far (if you are hoping for your opponent to not turn up), so we really should put our backs into it in our usual training.
After a round of lecture, let us get into the arena and see what’s going on again. A praise to the young children for participating, but we really ought to see the more ferocious fights from the teenagers. Round 50 got foul when a kick to the groin (weather by accident or not) had the fighter rolling on the ground. He showed good spirit though, and after a lot of jumping around and ouch-ouching he wasted no time in giving his opponent a kick packed with power (and possibly extreme anger). A shift to the girls’ part and we can see a fighter dissolving into tears as the results were announced and she was not on the winner’s side. I can see Mrs Leong comforting another sobbing fighter not far away and emotions are clearly running high.
We do cry when we compete, regardless of the results (winners and losers alike always express emotions through tears, don’t they?), and I do respect those who took this championship seriously enough that they cared very much about their fights. It is not an embarrassment—Balotelli cried in the aftermath of Spain’s victory over Italy and Andy Murray cried during the Wimbledon’s runner-up speech—so let’s use those tears to make ourselves stronger than before. Anger, however, is fun to watch if it doesn’t get out of control. When fighters channel their anger into their fight in proper ways (no dirty moves), we observers are happy to cheer them on. There are loud cries of their respective school names as the observers yell for their favorite fighter.
There is a break at 11 o clock and the amazing taekwondo demonstration are performed by the demo team. It must have been fabulous but I won’t know it because I fall asleep from lack of energy. It is lunch time after and food is a bit cold, but I’m sure that the parent’s support team did their best. Then we have poomsae and judging from the number of contestants, it is very popular among the students. However, I am more surprised at the powersport magazine, which appeared at first eye to be featuring Tan Kien Tat, our taekwondo senior. One might question the designer of the magazine’s cover page (could it be Kien Tat himself?) if he was mistaken for doing a biography of Kien Tat.
I flip through the magazine and check last year’s winners and find that a few talents have got their names on both the poomsae and sparring event. It is a rule that if you won too many gold medals, you will be banned from the championship—and yep, Ngiam Fang Qi is only a referee this year. How does it feel to be such a consistent winner that you are at last banned? I don’t know the answer to this question but let’s see what the ones who are still-trying-to-get-banned are saying.
Wenni, 16 says she’s afraid and happy at the same time for getting into the final round, but she’ll do her best to get the gold medal. Tee Zi Yen, 17 says she doesn’t have much confidence in the final round later but strength of mind is her best and only strategy. Daryl Goh, 10 shrugs when asked why he participates in the championship. He says it is a teeniest bit of fun to fight. A teeny bit.
The event goes on past the evening and the Sunday becomes a very tiring day for everybody here. We love the championship and the opportunities it offered, and it has ended well. I won’t announce all the winner’s names in case this gets tedious. Now let’s give a clap on the back to the winners from our hearts and a nod of thanks and appreciation to the organizers and helpers for making this championship a success! Adieu and see you next year!