No! I haven't given up this diary... yet!
This has been a busy month for me as I had to prepare moving back to Hong Kong. Therefore everything secondary to life has been abondoned for a while...
Well, by that I don't mean kendo!
The Irish Goodwill Taikai at the 14-16 Jan weekend is the first and last kendo event in 2005 when I am still away from home. I already "planned" to get there in Dec as soon as I had decided to go home. Opportunity arrives - and so - there I was, the last time, with most people I know from the rest of those who like kendo competitions from the UK, along with the Irish kendo people there.
This is also one of the very first time I didn't attend a Taikai with the mind of winning or scoring. I didn't even go with a team!! My job there was to uhmm take photos (I bought 4 rolls of film AND my digital)... Usually the day before a Taikai I would train really hard and focus on building up some "killer-waza", aka the waza I am best at and most comfortable with, say, with 90% hit rate, etc. A lot of times I will wake up extra early and allow times for hangover recovery, traffic delays, etc. This time, I was more at mitori-keiko mode. To watch and support those who needed.
The night before there was goodwill keiko. Fought 2 locals with ease. I only spot another local women out of the 40+ people in the small gym... In total there were only 5 girls fighting in the Taikai. A bit disappointing but you don't got to choose girls to be with you. 5 is better than none. If I am after girls I would have picked up ballet instead.. anyway...
As in any other situation, just when you give up there is a light ray shining down right in front of you. Daa-daa--!! I was recruited by Oxford team B on the spot! Thank god I had bought along my lucky nasu shiai tenugui with me!
First fight was with Dublin Club. It's good to fight with people I didn't know. But I feel I had under performed. It was a draw.
Second fight in the team pools was with Kodokan B. I fought the same lady, Molloy, whom I did demonstration at the IKET at Edinburgh about 1/2 year ago. Sometimes at the side of the shiaijo, the urge of winning is soooo strong that you can just feel you are going to score. This is one of the moment -- I haven't been in a formal taikai since Sep 04. But this is the last chance.
1:0 me scored Debana kote!!
My team probably came second out of 4 teams in the same pool, and therefore for the rest of the day I was mainly taking photos and videos of other people. This is actually more enjoyable comparing to the boring jobs of scoreboarding or ribbon-tying (d'oh! that reminds me of the 12th WKC... Tying ribbons for 3 days straight...zzzzz). Carrying a camera walking around the shiaijo gave me the opportunity to find the best view too!!
I can't really comment on the rest of the fights of the day. That'll be my last memory of what everyone's kendo is like before I left. Next time we meet again, I wish I can tell everyone, and everyone can tell me, "whoa, you are much stronger now!!"
Taikai was short and very fortunately we have 45 mins of jikeiko time. It was in a 5 mins rotation format (so no sensei/senpai will be occupied with the same person for too long). I found it particularly helpful for those who can't manage to stop!!
I fought a lot of people. Locals, senpai, kohai, old friends who I haven't practiced with for a long time, etc. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS: I reeeeeally pop-ed everyone's de-kote at sho-dachi (first cut after sonkyo). YEEEESS!! So happy... Oh hold on.. except for the last practice with Hayes who just ran into me. Damn I was very bother not to kept some record-breaking memory...
On Sunday there was goodwill keiko BUT I changed my mind last minute. That Sunday my boyfriend and I spent the day touring around Cork the city. There is never enough travelling and dating - life is too short for regular activities like kendo.
(okay.. the rest of the month is slowing coming.. stay tuned.)