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Relatively Minor Nai Background Detail
I'm wondering how many other "Student of [insert teacher's name here]" have reached the national tournament. I consider it to be a relatively minor background detail, but oh how those can grow!

I believe there are around 34 provinces and one representative from each.

Bids please, ladies, gentlemen and good souls who identify elsewise?

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So those are Very Very new competitors? I suppose it's a matter of how rare Nai is. one other?

There must be quite a few every year, who start out. The question is, how many are this good? (Or lucky?)

I have to imagine that getting to the nationals your first year (so it's only one year / competition season that you're "Student of ..."?) is pretty rare. I'd be surprised if it was 10%. That said, how long does a given person typically stay on the professional gi circuit? Master Que retired after ... "ten national professional open division championships", which doesn't actually tell me how long he was competing professionally, or whether his career was long or short. Presumably at least a decade?

I'm thinking ten years is sort of the average, twenty quite common and thirty is a long career. It is a professional sport, really.

And while gi strength may not decline with age, physical resilience is also important, given some of the injuries people shake off -- or are taken out of competition for a season or more by -- and those will add up over time.

So with thirty-odd slots, if winners are distributed more or less evenly across time as a professional, I'd expect one to three people from any given cohort. But I don't expect even distribution across ages -- I'd expect heavier representation from mid or mid-to-late career fighters, depending on what sorts of things prompt people to retire (Does the average retiree step down when they see their reaction time starting to slip? Stay in until they're not making it to provincial tournaments anymore? Take a career-ending injury? Decide to move on to other things while they're still at their peak?) and/or how well you have to be doing to make a living at this.

Plus, Nai is very clearly still learning and improving -- she picks up gi tricks really really fast, but she's still learning to assess competitors before stepping into the ring with them, and Master Que is doing the "number crunching" to put her on a promising track to nationals, which pulls on a lot he knows about the professional circuit as well as reading (and reading between the lines) all the news. ETA: Also, Master Que didn't start her working with external hazards until she was within spitting distance of nationals.

Also, of named competitors, I don't think Nai has *fought* anyone who was named as a Student rather than having their own professional name yet. Certainly there are many, many people on the circuit she hasn't met, but so far Students seem quite rare, or at least quite rare beyond the first few bouts of the first few levels.

So I wouldn't be at all surprised if she were the only Student to make it to nationals, and I'd very surprised by more than two or three.

Edited at 2015-03-14 04:23 am (UTC)

All good points and my current feeling is no more than two or three, including Nai.

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