Goodwill Tournament | Pistahan Sa Nayon Festival | Vallejo, CA
So after three years, I find myself at the Pistahan Sa Nayon festival at Vallejo, CA where the Goodwill Tournament is held. Seeing new and old faces come around and gather at this event, brings back bittersweet memories. Reminds me when I participated at this event, when I barely started my FMA journey.
Three years ago, I was one of the newbies to enter this event. Competing with some great and tenured fighters. Palms sweating inside those gloves, vision limited through the mask, and heart racing while facing my first opponent. Didn't really know what to do, feeling frozen in my tracks. Getting hit across face, then finally getting adrenaline rush during the fight. It was an awesome mixed feelings! Unfortunately, my lack of experience got myself in a situation. During my 2nd match, I popped my shoulder during a clash strike, trying to hit an angle one to my opponent. Brought me to my knees due to the pain, but was able to pop it back in while rotating it. Continued the remainder of the match using my left hand, and luckily got some shots that increased our team points to get to the next round. Unfortunately, I wasn't as lucky when it was my turn on the last match. I wasn't gaining any points playing with my left, so I switched back to my right. Got a headshot, then it happened again. The judges decided to disqualify me to prevent further damage, and I was escorted out the ring. And I spent the remaining time to watch the rest of the tournament on the sideline, holding a pack of ice on my shoulder.
Three years later, I'm back again, but this time as a spectator. It's great watching these young aspiring practitioners, competing with fire in their eyes. Boys and girls, the gender did not matter inside that ring. They were warriors representing their schools and their own pride. Showing athletic skills and competitive passion! The next generation are very promising.
And of course, the Adult Division was very exciting to watch! A lot of great teams came from different areas of the bay. Some traveled from San Francisco and some traveled as far as Washington. New or old, newbies or experienced, they all showed heart. There were some heated matches, but at the end everyone showed sportsmanship. Another great year at the Goodwill tournament. Hope to see everyone again next year!