Sportmanship is mentioned often in athletic competition and many times in non athletic situations. One of things I am most proud up is how those I have coached and taught exhibit "good" sportsmanship. That is so true after the most recent American International Karate Championships.

Several students competed for the very first time. No wants to win more than I do and no one wants to see my students win more than I do. The most important thing is that you compete honorably and respectfully regardles of whether you win or lose. Honestly, if you perform and give your best than there is no losing, especially if you are determined to do better the next time.

Competition is tough. There are different rules at each event even when there are established rules. We may not agree with all the rules, but we must respect them. We will accept the outcome and we will do our best each time. Sometime the judges will not see things the same way we do. They don't have the ability to look at a replay. Sometimes the action is so fast that they are not sure what they've seen, but still must make a decision. They will make the wrong call and they will make the right call. Let's accept it and move on to the next event. That is part of sportsmanship.

We will all hope that the officials will improve over time to make better decisions. I ask that before you become critical of the judges that you take a turn at judging. It is not so easy. They are human and will make mistakes. The best judges are those that have competed, have an open mind to the differences amongst styles, and pay attention to the action and not just the result.

This weekend several competed and all performed well. You didn't all come home with the results you or I desired. You can all be proud of yourselves as I am of you. I am most proud that your sportsmanship and competive spirit was noticed and positively commented on by other competitors and many judges.

It is my hope that the sportsmanship that we display becomes infectious.