Monday, January 29, 2007

The 9th President Trophy Tournament

It's great to have a camera now with the function for colour correction - at least I can show some presentable shots from now on...

At the last minute I found out that I got into the all-girl team from my dojo. I wasn't really expecting anything from this tournament. I've only get back into twice-per-week training since Jan, and I've skipped Thursday's to work on a zzzz project overnight. Anyway, I don't have the "you have to win" pressure on me, which makes the day more enjoyable.

There's this trend in our little city that audience has to cheer out loud. Sorry but we're ignoring your concept of budo - and our act is even encouraged by our sensei. It holds the team and the dojo together, better than doing your kendo in 3 minutes and not having further business watching.

I fought as Jiho in the first matches of the day, after the kids competition and a mass warm-up. Strange but I think the recent extra shiai preparations helped, that I wasn't frozen in sonkyo etc. It must have been more than 8 months since the last time I fought in a formal shiai with 3 referees.

Even more suprising was that I scored first on my opponent with a BRILLIANT hiki-kote. The sort of hiki-kote that I really created the chance, committed on the cut, and caused 3 flags up instantly. Too bad I lost nihonme by a kote-nuki-men. I lost my focus after that, started cutting in messy mode and drew my match.

For the rest of the fights I advised on the girls to keep the points for decision match after taisho-sen. And as expected, the 5 fights went as 1-1, 1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 0-0 and we need to get that golden ippon. We pushed Takahashi-san to represent us (since no one else has the confidence), who lost eventually.

Our opponents was around 1-2 dan level from HKKA's dojo, which is quite similar to my team. If only I, or anyone kept a point up. Zannen desu.

We have 4 teams from our dojo, 3 went on to the 2nd round. My team went on to become a cheerleading team.

Our A team went the furtherest to the FINALS - Amy, Naganawa, Michael, Angus, Mark Stone - but lost 4-1 to the "fake-Korean" all-white Sekishinkan team. The fights has been exciting though, at least from a spectator point of view.

That hiki-kote I scored does fire me up a bit, especially there are people coming to me telling me how good it was. Yet I'm again in job-seeking mood, and have kindly declined committing to fight at the coming Asian Tournament in March. I've sent out a few letters last week, and if my life gets better next month with a stable job, I wouldn't mind. We'll see...

Monday, January 15, 2007


In 2 week's time we are going to have our local team tournament. Practice has been intense lately. For some reason everybody seems quite keen to fight, especially with the new practice arrangement - fitness on Thurs, waza on Sat, and an extra Sunday shiai keiko.

It was a nightmare at work and only early this month I'm the acceptable 2 practice a week of kendo. Life's like that and we try to make most of it. One of my dojomates, and a friend to many readers here, Mark Stone, had his 1-week-old baby daughter to look after with, struggled to show up for our shiai keiko.

The toughest part has to go with the fitness training on Thurs - it was a lot more fum with the kids around, but the level of tiredness stays for the next 4 days---!!! Apart from the suburi and such, we also got shuttle-run-with-push-ups and human-tunnel-crawl. All highly military. Perhaps Eda-sensei wants to see if bodybuilding like Team USA will pump us all up and ready for the taikai.

I haven't fought in shiai for quite a long while (or even in regular keiko...) - but got arrange into the "A" team everyone thinks, fighting taisho position. With all these responsiblity thoughts coming in, I should just stick with the kendo for this month, just to get back to it. In next month I'll be back in the jobhunt, and probably can't commit to anything at all.

Last Sun's shiai keiko was not too bad. M-M vs Nigata-san, 0-D vs Noyori-san, 0-0 vs Pik and Leo who's in Nito. I can feel that my cuts went ok. But Oda-san (senpai in charge) did comment about the "No seme" part. All I've been getting for the past few month is just some very kihon partnered exercise. It's very hard to create seme without actually doing a lot of jikeiko or shiai... Something I miss out on with my away periods for "work".

Saturday, January 06, 2007