Achievements of Shoujin Kan members during the
56th Festival of Sports – Interport Kendo Tournament 2013
●1st place: Yuki Tsuchiya
●3rd place: Alan Kishikawa
●Fighting spirits: Kelly Kishikawa
Ladies unitl Shodan:
●1st place: Reika Tsuchiya
●Fighting spirits : Bonnie Ngan
Ladies 2-5 dan
●1st. place: Reika Tsuchiya
●3rd place: Joanna Chan
Men unitl 2 dan
●1st. place: Chun Yu MJ Lee
Men 3dan above
●1st. place: Joseph Chan
20130630 a super early morning for my second taikai.
First, I have to thank sensei and every person I met in kendo all the way from Australia to Hong Kong.
Every valuable lesson I learnt from every person make me still practicing kendo today and joining my second tournament.
During shiai, I have totally no idea how many seconds pass.
The moment before shiai is definitely stressful, but when it’s my turn it’s not that stressful maybe I’m not assessing my ability anymore as when I was an audience?
Sonkyo at the start of shiai usually clears my mind when I look at my opponent even though it’s the first time I met them.
I got a bit depressed when I am loosing two points in a role.
But I tell myself to focus on what I can do now since what happen in the past does not mean its going to happen now nor the future.
A lot of my hit didn’t score maybe because I’m not doing 100% enough.
Suddenly, I saw my opponent freeze, so this time I use a super 100% to hit because it’s a chance not to be missed.
Finally I scored an ippon.
The final hit make me realize whenever I think I’m working hard enough, I can work even harder.
Ippon is just so hard.
Throughout the day, watching others’ shiai makes me realize how much efforts and focus others put in to make a good shiai.
I will be better next time.
A lot of things for improvement: basic footwork and suburi, very important for keeping myself stable and for a quick hit (need a lot of practice).
Also, I need to learn to see through my opponent with a calm mind because I often find myself too rush to hit as if I’m not mentally prepared or when I am confused.
The recent kakari keiko practice also trains me to spot all the chances and adjust my hitting distance in a quick time.
FINALLY, congratulations for all the excellent results from everyone!!!!!
I am sure everyone learns a lot and enjoy themselves so much that day!
(So many happy pictures ~~~!!! ).
30 June 2013, in the middle of summer, it is a hot sunny day, the skies are blue.
For the first time, I participated in a shodan – nidan level tournament. MJ and Gordon, both senpai’s with more experience than me were also participating. And so I felt no pressure to win but at the same time I had the desire to win and see how far I could advance.
Surprisingly, my first opponent was Gordon. I have had ji-keiko regularly with him and knew he was not an easy opponent. I begin our shiai by giving out my loudest and strongest kiai, so that I can inhale air into my hara and boost my energy level. Midway, I see Gordon moving closer and closer, he was trying to take the initiative and make the first strike. I quickly change my breathing from exhaling to inhaling and move in to strike before he does.
Men-ari, the umpire announces. I look at the raised flag, it is white. I have just won the first men in the exchange. I would later advance to the top 8 and lose in overtime during a lapse of concentration as fatigue set in.
My first ippon began with concentration and the last ippon against me was also due to a lack of concentration. This is an interesting insight for me.
Inexperienced or weak opponents can be defeated by strong spirit and physical roughness, like the cat hunting the pigeon, but when against a more experienced opponent, or an equal opponent in a locked stalemate, whoever has more energy and concentration at the end will be the one who delivers the final blow. Just like two cats fighting.
But without the above qualities, to overwhelm opponents with strong spirit or outlast the opponent with energy and concentration, it would be impossible to move to a higher level in kendo. There has yet to be a cat which can defeat a dog but not beat a pigeon.
It was a very meaningful tournament of me because this is the first time I get the first place in the individual match.
And it realize what Sensei taught us. Concentration and high fighting spirit .
I can’t really remember how many over time match I did on that day. But my dojo mates just told me that it was a long match.. I didn’t care much about the time . Even so I didn’t know that I won the final at that time. It’s kinda stupid right ? Haha.
Well , it was not easy matches. Everyone wanted to win. They did whatever they can do . some of them even did some tricky things. I had to keep calm. Or I lose in the Shiai because of one mistake.
To get the first place in Hong Kong is not my ultimate target. But win myself with real kendo and spirit .
It s only a new start of my kendo because I got a lot of knowledge to learn and to realize in my kendo. I must work hard on physical training and prepare the mental for the coming challenge.
Keep train hard.
Around one month before the taikai, I started to jog. I worried that my physical condition was not good enough to keep me concentrated during the matches. Therefore, when I was jogging, I tried to keep my concentration on my breath and ignore the tiredness. During keiko and practice, I tried to make every hit Ippon. Making every hit ippon was very difficult, especially during keiko. During keiko, there are many things that I need to keep in mind, for example, keep feet moving, be aware of the distance, find and make chance to hit…etc. With too many things in my mind, I could not hit 100% confidently, especially on Men strike.
During the matches, I was so nervous. I worried that I could not do my best. I afraid to lose to my opponent; therefore, I tried to handle the match carefully. I tried not to hit without seeing chance. I hit a few times, but it was not accurate enough, then I started to lose my confident. I slow down my pace and concentrated to search for chances. Then, I scored a couple of Dous. When I saw one of the girls hitting a very beautiful Men, I knew that I did not have the confidence to hit Men. Therefore, in the future practice, I want to focus on improving my men strike.
I got defeated by Reika in a very fast match. Then, I watched her matches with other girls. I realized the differences between me and Reika was not only technique and skills, but the fighting spirit. She kept moving, attacking with 100 % of her spirit. She attacked without giving up until she scored. She was like a 100M runner, while I was like a jogger. Therefore, I understand that not only I need to improve my skill and technique, but also the confidence and fighting spirit.
After the matches, I also realized how much my kendo buddies were supporting me. They cheered up for me and were happy for my winning matches. I am so glad to have to practice and train with me. Without their support, I do not think I could keep my fighting spirit up.