This is something I get asked a lot, especially when we have students who are about to enter their first Competition.
The idea of Competition never really scared me, I think it’s because of how I was raised.
I was raised in way where I know I came out a bit different, but I always assumed that we were mostly the same and for some reason I always felt that I was bit boring, but I always marveled at how interesting everyone else was to me.
Thinking yourself as boring is kind of an incredible thing, because you don’t think anyone would find you in the least bit interesting, so you have no insecurities, you just don’t really have any cares about much having to do with you and this is why I saturated myself in everyone else and everything else.
It is actually quite an honest feeling too, what could be so interesting about you, to you?
I started competing at such a young age, I was in such a raw state of discovery.
My first competition.
I think this was the first time I actually noticed that my dad might be a little interesting to people.
I knew people always said “Hi” to him at tournaments, but it was like being at the school. Different people, with the same interest, so, why wouldn’t everyone say hello?
What I noticed to be different was dad telling everyone I was going to be competing for the first time.
This, I did not like, not one bit. I was comfortable with dad being the center of attention, but I didn’t like it on me.
I never have and never will enjoy the attention on “Game Day”, it’s my place, to do my thing and I don’t want distractions, I want to be anonymous.
So, I thought the best way to stay anonymous at a Martial Arts Tournament would be to cling to my dad and let him take the attention so nobody would notice me.
Well, I had to compete in the form, something I really detest and never did much.
The problem… There was a dress code.
I never have and never would to adhere to the dress codes of the traditional kung-fu outfits. I just couldn’t stand the idea of wearing these things.
So, I wore dad’s jacket that he wears for his demos… What a wonderful way to blend in.
Dad’s traditional top, with stretch pants and combat boots. I’m shaking my head in memory, or is it misery, of it all right now.
Still somehow, in my mind I thought with dad nearby, nobody would notice me, cause they would all be saying “hi” to him.
For the most part I did feel left alone, but I’m also one of those people who is really closing off and going into my own world where I think nobody can see me if I don’t “see” them.
Then I have another GENIUS idea…
I needed to warm-up for my first Push-Hands match and who do I cling to for privacy and comfort, My Father.
So dad decides that if I’m going to cling to him, he should warm me up.
This was when I realized that dad was a little more than just liked by the Martial Arts Community.
I didn’t know what it was exactly, famous didn’t seem right, because he was just my dad and I was just this regular girl who was his daughter.
I was also used to people watching me, because I figure skated competitively, but this was different. I couldn’t figure out what it was they found so amazing, but there was such a huge crowd that had grown around us, I remember I just wanted to stop, to stop attracting attention, but I remember my dad beaming with pride, I also had a huge pimple forming on my nose, so I the last thing I wanted was attention near me.
I can’t remember what I won, I won something, but it was the beginning of a competitive career that would earn me over 40 Gold Medals in CMA with a few World Championships here and there.