I told you a few days ago about our two-pronged strategy to get Eldest to do well at today's tournament in London. It worked.

Neither of us placed in kata (where we didn't have a strategy) but we both did well in sparring, where we did. Hmmm. Maybe we should always strategize for everything.

Anyway.

Eldest's goal was to win her first fight or, failing that, not to lose it by more than four points. She won 3-2.  She then had to fight a much bigger (and let's be honest, better) girl against whom she lost 5-0. Then she fought another hard opponent for third place and won 1-0 by scoring with a sidekick in the very last second of the fight.

You bet I'm proud.

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Me? I only had one opponent today but she's an excellent fighter against whom I was 0-2 this year. It was a hard fight (and long; we went more than a minute over time), but I won. Yay! That got me to grands, against the winner of the younger black belt women division. Who's just a spectacular world champion, no big deal.

Ahem.

My strategy, which I made up on the spot, was either to score one point or last more than one minute before losing 10-0. (We have a 10-point mercy rule.) I didn't score, but I came close (my punch landed a half-second after hers), and I did manage to last 1:44 before being mercied out. I also got a bloody cheek from an ax kick to the face (stupid velcro straps on those foot pads), which I wore like a badge of honour.

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It wasn't easy fighting this champion who's at least 20 years younger than me, but even though I lost 10-0 I fought as well as I could and lasted longer than I hoped.

So there. Now we bring back some hardware and some extremely valuable lessons learned. And I couldn't be happier.