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My First Judo Tournament


I began judo in September of 1998 and went to my first
tournament in November. I wanted to be in a tournament
because I thought I would actually win. It was a bummer
when I lost all five of my matches.

The tournament was at City College in San Francisco. I
got there at 8:30 in the morning to register. My first
match wasn’t until around one in the afternoon, but I
didn’t know that. So I had to wait. It was nerve-wracking.
I sat in the bleachers with the other people from my dojo
and I watched them all do really well on the mats. I got
more and more nervous as the hours went by.

Finally, my name was called. Some of the people from my
dojo went with me to the mat. They warmed me up and
encouraged me to do well. I was competing against yellow
and orange belts. I was only a white belt and they were
better than me. Between each match, my team mates
encouraged me to hang in there and not give up. After I
lost my last match, more of my team mates were there to
greet me. I wanted to leave. I just wanted to get out of
there because I was angry. I wanted to hit something.

I had to go back and sit down and wait for everyone else
from our dojo to finish. Everyone tried to make me feel
better. Later, sensei said that that the most important
thing was that I went to the tournament and that I tried.
He said that it was good that I was angry because if I
wasn’t angry, that would mean I didn’t care.

This tournament helped me learn that the most important
thing isn’t winning. It’s doing your best that counts! I
am going to be in another tournament in San Jose soon and
I am going to do my best and try to win.