According to definitions karate is 100% individual sport. Boxing , athletics, fencing and many more sports are also good examples. In general I agree – I go on tatami alone, I fight using my own legs and arms 🙂 However, there are few “buts” 🙂
First one and the most important for me personally is related to the most important person in my karate life. My coach. Paulius Klapatauskas. I even don’t think it’s necessary to say how much he did for me, how much time he devoted for me, how many nerve cells he destroyed because of my “perfect and easy” character :)) You can say “so, what? many coaches do that in individuals sports”. Yes. But the biggest difference on competition day is that during fight I use my body and his “head” 🙂 I hear every word, my movements depend on what he tells me to do.
This is not an easy task. From the side of coach – he has to know your abilities, he has to be sure what you can do and what you can’t, he has to see how you feel on that BIG day of tournament. From other side – fighter has to hear the coach. I always say that this is the biggest task of the fighter – hear and do. Think? It’s good, but this is the task of the coach 🙂 Mine knows me more than 20 years, we meet every day (oh my god, I would be fed up of myself, I guess he is too time to time :)), so he knows all my abilities, movements, just.. everything. I have to say he is my very good friend too 🙂 And amazing person. And and and 🙂 Well, it’s clear that there already are even two members of our team.
Second “but” – preparation period. It is impossible to get ready for a tournament without help of other fighters, high level partners. Yes, there are specific preparation periods. However, I really believe that you have to fight sooo much and feel the partner sooo well and just then you can go on tatami. So? I call all these partners my team too 😉 Thanks all of you! My girls for crazy photos after morning trainings too! :))
This is just two “buts”. There are many – national team members, federation, doctors, spectators that always travel with us. But this time enough. 🙂
Photos by Algimantas Barzdžius, pufasfoto.lt