Oleh and I train together. He and I spent about 4-5 hours judging the beginner/intermediate categories of the competition. Turn out was much bigger than expected. Maybe 60-80 competitors overall.
After the beginner/intermediate categories, he and I both competed in the advanced category. I lost in the finale to finish in 2nd place. One of my bouts is below. The ref scored it 20-3 in my favor, though I think it was actually 18-5. Below is also Oleh’s final which he tied (then lost the coin toss).
It was a rush. Haven’t felt it in a while — tension, anxiety, triumph, despair (in the final). Totally worth it.