Bow in
Walk slowly toward my opponent
Feel the cold hardwood floor on my bare feet
Draw weapon, crossing my opponent’s own
Crouch down
Stand up
Battle cry as judges signal us to begin
Look in my opponent’s eyes
Feel the tension of their stare and stance
Can’t think too hard
See an opening, take it
If not, make one
Teammates barely audible
Cheering me on
As I parry strikes and move to land my own
This is it
The proving ground
The arena
Nothing else matters but victory

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