Dedication: This is to Aubrey Fitzloff, one of my sensei at my dojo.

Yes, as you saw from the title, this is an article about how I felt at the ATJA Nationals. I won a silver and gold medal, and my brother, Noah, won a bronze medal for competing. But one of the most important things that I recall Professor Tom Ryan saying to us is it’s not about the medals. The second important thing that he told my brother and I was “if you go up against an opponent and then fight them again, you know their strengths and weaknesses.”

Now we’ve come to the part in this article where I talk about how I felt at the nationals. As soon as all the schools were done getting in their groups, I had the very first match in the whole tournament. Just as I was before, I was nervous. I sat in one of the chairs, waiting for my opponent. Then came Sensei Aubrey Fitzloff, who was coaching my brother and I for the tournament. She said something about how when I get on the mat, everything will come back to me. And she wasn’t wrong. It felt mildly like sparring back in the dojo.

To conclude this article, Prof. Tom asked me and my brother to share a writing piece. I am happy that I got to share what happened at the ATJA nationals!