Tournament Day

April 19th, 2015

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Picture Above...^^^

Before any events start, there is a group meeting. The meetings consists of all the competitors through the whole day. We sing the National Anthem and go through the rules for new competitors and parents.


I am a karate instructor here in Portage and I go to karate in Lodi. There are over 50 karate competitions a year in Wisconsin consisting of people from all over the USA. On April 19th, 2015 I was a coach, judge and competitor for a karate tournament. The tournament consisted of nearly 600 competitors. The tournament was hosted by my home (karate) school and held in Lodi, WI.

April 19th, 2015

Waking up at 5:30 am, I was ready for the day. After my morning routine, I did a last check to make sure I had everything ready for the day.

I arrived to the Lodi High School at 8:00 am and checked in. If you're a black belt, you will most likely be a judge. Therefore, I had to check the judges list to see which ring I would be judging at. After I sat down at the judges table panel, I judged many many competitors compete for first place. The divisions are divided by age and belt.

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Picture Above...^^^

In the gymnasium, there are 10 rings. The rings are outlined with tape. The tape sets "boundaries" for the competitors. If your foot leaves the taped area, the judges will start to deduct points for how ever long you're outside of the tape.

As an instructor. (Time: 10:30 am)

As an instructor, I am to get off the judges panel in order to watch the students I taught. Over the PA system, there's an announcement of the competitors' age and belt level. As soon as I heard what I was listening for, I found a black belt to replace me and went to the ring the students were competing at.

The performances started and I was there to help them in case they forgot their form. (They were between the ages of three and five.) After the division was over, they all received a competitor's trophy. (1st, 2nd and 3rd aren't given out unless they're over the age of six.)

Picture Above...^^^ One of the Lodi competitors who earned a competitor's trophy.

Black Belt Divisions (Time: 11:15 am)

After I was done watching and helping the students, I went back to judging. I judged for about three and a half hours until my division was called. My division was the 15-17 year old black belt traditional forms division. After all the competitors get to the outline of the ring (outside of the tape), the judges have to get the competitors' names. It's always nerve racking to look around and see who you're competing against. I looked around, 360. There were about 18 competitors in my division. 5 of which were world champions and national champions. One of those 5 was an eight time national champion. I knew the competition was going to be kicked up sixteen notches this time.

After giving the judges out names, we lined up in no specific order and the center judge held out a pile of cards. Each competitor of the division has to pick a card and depending on which card you pick out, determines what order you will compete in. I was placed second to last. I always want to be closest to the last because the competitors before you get you pumped. I have been first before and it is kind of a hard way to start... with complete silence.

Picture Above and Below... A couple of the competitors I had to compete against. There were approximately nine boys and twice as many girls.

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MY TURN... FINALLY!! (Time: 11:45 am)

As I sat in line waiting for my turn, I watched all the competitors before me show their form. The intensity and adrenaline was so high that I knew something good would come out of it. Everyone was screaming and yelling, rooting for their competitor to win first. The coolest experience I remember is looking out into the crowd and seeing a group of my students yelling my name.

Then the moment came. I heard someone announce "Ashlyn Kohler?" Almost as if it were a question. Anyway, I got out of the line and went up to the judges, said my speech and performed my form. I felt like it was the best form I'd ever done, but that's what everyone feels when the natural high is rushing so much. Therefore, I knew not to get too excited about the performance I did. Two more competitors competed after me, their forms looked pretty sharp but I never let it show.

When all the competitors were done showing their forms, we all lined back up again. One by one, we stepped forward to receive a scoring. The scoring is averaged out by the three judges' scores. The range goes from 9.00-10.00 (10 being the best).

The person right before stepped forward and received a score of 9.9, 9.9, 9.9. Which obviously averaged 9.9. Taking off from that, I stepped forward and heard a judge yell out "9.9, 9.9, 9.7". I smiled from ear to ear because that's the very first time I had ever received a 9.9, let alone TWO! As the crowd noise got louder and louder, I zoned out. I didn't even listen to the other competitors' scores.


After all the calculations were made, the judges had us all line up again, in no specific order. They called out the us out one by one and we received a small card. On the card, it says what place you got. I got second. SECOND. I was so shocked. One reason being because I just beat my biggest (not in size) competitors, the one time world champion and the eight time national champion. Another reason being because to be honest, I've never placed better than fifth place before in that same division.

It was the coolest feeling in the world. That day, I learned that winning isn't everything in life and when you place 1st, 2nd, and means more than if you win every single time you try.

Video below...

The video below is me competing in the April 19th tournament when I won second place.
Karate Tournament 4.19.15

Extra pictures... Just for the fun of it.......

SECOND PLACE!!! April 19th, 2015.

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Chief instructor and host of the 2015 karate tournaments

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HUGE throwback to 2007, when my brother and I competed in Badger State games. He won silver, and I won gold.

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One of my students finishing his division.

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One of my judges.

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Judging a division.

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Most recent video...

This is my most recent karate tournament. Took place on September 13, 2015. I placed 3rd in my division.
9.13.15 Karate Tournament