I spent the day with the Karate Kid at a tournament today - his first after a disastrous attempt a few years ago. This was at least better organized.
Some background: My middle kid, 11, got his black belt a week ago. This is him after his belt test with the school's owner/director, Mr. Derek. (If anyone is looking for an outstanding program in the upper Montgomery County/lower Frederick County area, Strive Martial Arts in Damascus, MD or Gaithersburg, MD is outstanding.)
So today, he did the forms competition in the tournament. Because of some weird way AAU calculates age, he was in the 12-to-something group even though he's 11. And not big for his age. AND all of the black belts compete against each other, so the next least experienced kid had two chevrons - almost a second degree black belt. The other kids were at least second degree black belts.
He actually did fairly well - but came in last place in his group. Which upset him greatly. I talked him down some, another kid's mom talked him down some more, and Mr. Derek told him what he needed to work on most. There's another tournament coming up in a couple of weeks - hopefully that will go better, or at least he's do better compared to his score this time.