Sunday, April 15, 2007

Golden Gloves

So let me just start out by saying that I didn't win my match at the Syracuse Golden Gloves, but I did have a good time, a good fight and learned a great deal.

We left Ithaca before noon on friday. There were 11 fighters plus coaches riding up together in a van from GIAC. It was crowded, but fun. The guys and gals from my gym are good natured and easy going so sitting hip to hip was not uncomfortable at all.

When we arrived at the fairgrounds in Syracuse, we were able to weigh in right away. After the numbers were recorded the organizers looked to find matches in your weight and experience class (coaches kind of RSVP their fighters). It turned out that I didn't have one which really bummed me out, but with the weigh ins over there was something really important to catch up on: Eating.

We all went out to lunch and then came back to the fairgrounds. If you were matched up, you had to see the doctor. It turned out that while I was gone someone my weight had registered. So I was sent to have my BP taken and have the doctor check my breathing. Basically it's a you're alive test.

Then you have to wait and wait. But you can see here that one of our fighters, Aaron "The Educator" King, is wasting no time setting up his lesson plans getting ready to school some fighters that day. On the right is Jalal - who didn't get to fight on Friday, but who looks to be taking some serious notes.

Aaron, The Educator, King

So you continue to wait until the officials draw all the fights. Sometimes there are an uneven number of fighters in a weight and experience class, so some people get a bye until the championship match on Saturday. But it took a really long time as there were two rings and nearly fourty fights to match.

At 5:30 the lists were all made up. I was set to fight the 6th bought in Ring 1. I got changed shortly after that. I had black shoes, knee-highs, trunks, and tank. I thought a little black fishnet would spice things up, so I put on some stockings for flavor.

And guess who showed up? Gals from Stitch'N Bitch!!!! It was an awesome suprise. Especially since no one from my family or any of my close friends sans one had even called to wish me well. So it really made my day.

Before the fight you get called to the glove table and the color of gloves you wear determines your corner. I had red ones and so I had the red corner.

I warmed up with GiGi, one of the coaches down at our gym. He held mitts for me and got me moving around and warm. By the time my match came around I was ready to go. My coach had told me that he didn't want me moving towards her at all. I was supposed to keep my opponent outside on the end of my jab. Then I was supposed to time it and hit her with my left. Because I was taller than her this strategy would preserve my reach and height advantage.

The first round I did a good job of moving around the ring and keeping my opponent off guard. I had never had anyone press me into a corner before or against the ropes, but I was able to spin out to keep from getting caught up. I needed to work my jab harder during this round but I think it was pretty good overall. My corner told me that I needed to work double jabs and stick it with my left.

During the second round my opponent really put on some heat and came at me like crazy. I got popped in the nose pretty hard and started to bleed like mad. And things started to go south after that. She overwhelmed me with superman punches and I lost my head. For me that means I start to lean back and my chin is up way too high making a nice target. But through all the blood, the fight went the distance. I had two standing 8 counts in that last round which kind of sucks.

Anyway, I learned a lot in this fight. Through the first two rounds I could totally see what I needed to do, but was having some problems executing it. She kept ducking down and I should have been able to pop her with left right there. But that's life and I've got a lot of stuff to practice now. I'll see what will happen next as we might have fights in May.

Hopefully I will be posting more pictures of other fights and the finals soon. :-)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I Spy Handknits

Welcome to "I Spy Handknits" on Kung Fu Knitting.

I love seeing people walking around in their hand knits and thought this would be a good space to document it. My real intention is to get pictures and stories from random people in my community, but let me tell you, sometimes I feel a little bit freaky walking up to complete strangers and asking them about their sweaters and such. So my first featured hand knit comes from someone that I know. Meet the talented husband of one of my lovely coworkers.

Not only was this garter stitch scarf handknit, but it's also handspun! How cool is that? And check out the great jacket!

You should also check out his site, King Turtle. Oliver is a talented Ukulele artiste who was recently featured on NPR's Whad'ya Know show. He is also one of four finalists in their Whad'ya Idol contest! Good luck!