and it almost makes me wonder if my old ass could get into shape enough to try.
The Sun was in a tournament yesterday (well, Saturday, seeing as how it's passed midnight on Sunday); the Gotham Classic. He got a big-ass trophy, taller than he, for Traditional Forms. He got a smaller one for participating in Shihan's Continuous Contact division.... a two-minute bout in which there is no no stopping unless somebody gets hurt or quits.
The kid he got in the ring with trained at BarsBoxing in Brooklyn... looking them up later I realized they were a gym that really trains in boxing as opposed to kickboxing... so the kid--the same height and weight as the Sun--didn't do a whole lot of kicking, but a whole lot of whaling away on my kid. Who really wanted nothing more than to get the hell out out, but he stuck it out. Once or twice, when he realized he just had to go through it, I saw that "look" cross over his face, and he hauled off and decked the kid with everything he had. The kid was Russian... I kept teasing the Sun that he really should have fought for the "Red and Black"... reach into his Albanian roots and go for broke. I was very very proud of him for sticking it out, though. That was a tough thing to do. I don't even know if I could have done it. His senseis were also proud. Here's the Sun, chewing on his mouthguard, not entirely sure he was happy about the whole thing, but Sensei made him laugh. After that, the Sun stood and watched several more fights, deep in thought.
Ha ha! good mom am I, encouraging my kid to go off on another kid--Shoefly was mortified when I told her about it this morning. But the thing is, in those bouts there were no winners or losers, and it was all about sportsmanship, and everyone participating was very well-mannered. And well padded. Even in the adult ranks (though not as well-padded). Youngerbrother Sensei fought as well, and was doing really well till he got kicked in the groin and dropped like a stone. But he got up and finished, and won the bout. Already hurt, he fought two bouts later, but couldn't continue. There should be video up on YouTube in a few days, and I'll link it when it's up. In the meantime, pictures are up on Flickr.
My grandpa would have been SO PROUD of the Sun... he called him "Champ" anyway. He would have been thrilled to know the Sun got in a real ring with real gloves. And got a few hits in. I realized that a love of boxing--brutal sport it may be--is in the blood. Grandpa may have been most proud of his accomplishments integrating the army and fighting for justice, but the best stories he ever told had to do with boxing. Here he is with the great Sugar Ray Robinson. Grandpa's the dude on the far left with the glasses and the hat.
We took the subway home, the Sun carrying the bigger trophy (cuz it was actually lighter than the smaller one) and I, the littler one. He gazed up at it the entire time, not noticing that other people looked at him and smiled. The Professor and Moodmagic Barbie met us where the train ends, so we didn't have to take the bus home, and Moodmagic gave the Sun the best present of all... her complete and genuine admiration (MMB doesn't give that freely... much like her auntie)...