Squad email: "...The attendance is a MUST (no excuse) for all people that intend to participate in Taiwan's WKC, no matter male or female (seems there are 7 female). Their attendance & performance will be considerated during selection..."
Friday: Skipping my last 30 minutes of Nihongo class, I rushed through a busy road to get to this special keiko. Visiting was 25+ kendo club members from Osaka Prefectural University.
The first thing I got told was "Where have you been? Haven't seen you in the squad for exactly a month!!!!!!" from Kishikawa sensei. It seems like some people are forgetting why "career" is more important than having regular exercises... which is what kendo is like to me recently without the squad. I did keiko last Thur+Sat though...
A good hour was wasted taking group pics and doing demo-intro session for the venue's provider (Baptist University's gym - and their Japanese Culure Club). The demo was actually good fun. There were 5-6 girls on the OPU team and I fought 4 during jikeiko time. They aren't of the top Tai-dai (Sports Uni) unbeatable type, yet they are still good and sharp.
Saturday: This keiko was in the afternoon from 3.30 to 6.30... but thank god its been delayed and stuff. Starting off with 5-6 in a group going kirikaeshi and kihon for 30 mins, shiai-keiko for 1 hr, and then jikeiko for another 1 hr. Not as exhausting as the squad itself because there were plently of queuing time. The shiai-keiko was again in the male/female format (a lot of girls I haven't seen before turned up from other dojo), but fights are in 2 min Ippon-shobu. I fought 4 times - all losts, but I doubt some of the cuts that I should have scored, etc. Argh.
Sunday: This is also the day for the local club's team tournament, with me being on the squad team of my dojo (Leo, me, Amy, Angus, Michael). Our club is rather small comparatively with only 3 teams, as the others are having teams up to "H". Well, we got more kids though.
The OPU students got the odd jobs of making 3 scoreboarding teams, and have one or two members got dragged to fill up local teams without enough players.
Our team got lucky and went straight through to best 16 against City University A.
So that's a draw. On daihyo-sen (golden goal), Angus lost and we are out. To be honest, all of us were responsible for the lost of the team... Say, if I hadn't bounced out of court and got that hansoku, we could have been through without daihyo-sen... Too late now.
I have no idea why I kept having big guys as opponents. His kendo was quite straight (but still the too much power type..). 3 minutes went and not much waza worked (on both sides). Comment from Kishikawa sensei was: You're cutting without seme. You didn't wait for your opponent to move first. You need to train more!! - all rather obvious points...
So we had a big lunch and a good laugh at the side watching the matches. Worth mentioning was Ng who smashed more than a couples of de-kote. I lost this de-kote waza completely and it's through watching him that I realize how important to really get to the squad more. Ng belongs to the hardcore group, and he's become so successful in the recent tournaments.
Waiting till after the finals (Macau A vs Hong Kong A - winning), I got "selected" to fight in the friendly matches HK vs OPU on the ladies court. I fought senpo first off (vs Ikeda) and then jiho (vs Nakakawa) the 2nd round, both losing 0-2. The first match wasn't too much control there at all. (Kishikawa comment: What the hell are you doing?!?! You have 3 minutes to study your opponent. No need to be in a hurry.) The second round was slightly better. At least I tried something new, like hikimen that pops. I lost a rather slow-and-oh-the-shinai-is-too-heavy ai-men. The other point was a de-tsuba from my opponent that got scored (shushin actually came afterwards and said sorry(!)). Our HK side did rather badly, losing 0-12 against the 6 OPU girls, and then 1-3 on the 2nd round.
Accumulating the tireness from the 3 days without proper sleep, and having projects deadlines to meet this week, I skipped jikeiko and headed home.