Achievements of ShoujinKan members
2013 The Junior & Ladies & Novice Kendo Tournament
1st. place : Alan Kishikawa
2nd. place : Kelly Kishikawa
3rd. place : David Graham
Fighting Spirit : Kelly Kishikawa , Xavier Nagy
2nd. place : Edward Cheung
1st. place : Jackie Graham
3rd. place : Bonnie Ng
1st. place : Masuto Shimazaki
Fighting Spirit : Pang Lumpy
I am having difficulties in writing this report. Very soon after my first two matches with Jackie and Katie, I forgot what I have done in those two matches. I do not quite remember that I scored.
In the morning when I was checking who I were going to fight against. I found out that in order to move up to quarter final, I needed to win Jackie and Katie. I did not know that was a good thing or bad thing in fighting someone I always practice with. When I told Jackie about our matches, she gave me a big smile and told me that we just need to do our best. After that I felt better and did not think too much about the matches because I have to get ready for the warm up. We did the warm up pattern so smoothly because we have tried the pattern for a few times. During the warm up, I noticed I was tensed because I was using my right arm and held the shinai very tight. My hit was not sharp and even missed. At that moment, I tried to control my body and focus on my body, feet and left arm. My hits became sharper and I gained back my confidence.
During the matches with Jackie and Katie, I was kept focus on my feet and left arm. I moved around because I was nerves. After that, it seemed that my body did the rest of the work. I did not remember how I scored the men, kote and dou on them. After the matches, I found out that I have to fight Jackie again in semi final. All I needed to do was to win 1 more match to enter the semi final.
In the next two matches, I was defeated by my own fear. In the quarter final, I felt that my feet were not moving, my hit was so slow. I tried to do was I confident with and I missed. I was moving back because I scared of losing. Finally, I scored 1 point and ended the match. I knew that I did terrible in that match. I carried the fear into the match with Jackie. I started to have some self- defeating thoughts. I was thinking that Jackie would know that I was going for dou, so I did not try to hit dou even if there were chances. At the end, I lost the match.
This taikai made me realized that it was impossible to win any match if I am already defeated by my fear. I should treat every match as the final match, concentrated on the opponent and do what I have been doing in the practice. Should not think about winning or losing. Just focus on ippon.
Today is my third shiai. I watched my shiai video, the distance between me and my opponent is way too close.
Not only I cannot hit correctly, it also waste a lot of energy during tsubazeriai.
Moreover, I did not read my opponent and attack as if I’m doing a solo kendo.
Luckily, I’m still able to make a few ippon, but next time all the hits should be more accurate and efficient.
Also, I need to learn how to use my energy in the right way.
I watched a lot of shiai today, mentality plays an important role in shiai.
Regardless your physical condition, you can still fight differently.
Everyone will have an exhausted fight eventually, so, control myself and win myself.
I feel like kendo is always testing my mental limit.
Thank you sensei for the teaching and everyone from dojo for supporting us, leading the warm up, taking videos and encourage us during the shiai.
And also congratulations to all the excellent results from our dojo members!
I had a great day!
The ladies tournament on 6th October 2013 was my first tournament for a long time. So I was feeling a little nervous, but determined to do the best that I can.
Bonnie helped raise the spirit within us all by leading a very good warm up, after which, very quickly the tournament started. During practice I had been trying very hard to work on my posture, my footwork and trying to keep calm, yet very focused during Keiko. The biggest challenge for me is trying to keep calm.
The first fight was against Bonnie. We were both nervous. She won with a very good Do and Men. But once the first match was over, I started to feel very calm. The next two matches were over quickly, and again, Bonnie and I met in the semi-finals! The match was long, and by 3 min we were equal. So it went to Encho. Although this was a point to decide which of us was to go forward to the final, I found my focus very sharp, and was calm. Finally I managed a Men. I was through to the final.
My final match was also tough. I had to fight it immediately after the semi-final match. Again the same thing happened. By 3 min we were equal. Again it had to go to Encho. But suddenly at this point, I understood about calmness and focus. I looked at my opponent straight in the eye. I took a deep breath and felt it drop into my dantien. At this point, I felt very grounded, focused and calm. Suddenly while looking at her, I could sense her drop her guard, I went for men, and won the ladies tournament.
I was very happy. NOT because I had won, but because I felt I had achieved something more important, the fight with myself to try and remain calm. It was the goal that I had wanted to reach that day, whether I won or lost the tournament. I have looked back since, and for the first time since I started Kendo, felt that I learned so much from a tournament. It is very humbling to look back, and be able to see what I have learned and what I need to improve on. Sensei always teaches us that Kendo is more about the fight with ourselves, and our own challenges. I suddenly, REALLY understood that day what he meant.
My other challenge that day was to be a referee for the first time. During practice, I was trying very hard to remember the right calls, which flag should I raise, make sure I can see the other referees, judge the grade of the players, and watch the fighting, all at the same time! I was not very good, and I was making many mistakes.
On the day, I was paired with two senior referees, so I did not feel too bad. But I was still worried about doing the wrong thing, in front of everyone! I refereed in three matches. What struck me was how a good ippon was very obvious. As a referee it really made me think about my own ippon, and how I can change to make it more beautiful.
The taikai was on the 6th of October. It was a very fun experience. I was very nervous the day before about the taikai. Unfortunately, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep! I eventually slept and knew that tomorrow would be the tournament day.
When I woke up, I was feeling excited and nervous at the same time. More excited than nervous but yes, both. I jump out of bed which surprised my dad because I would usually pretend to sleep and hope that my father would forget to bring me to the Sunday squad training. But unfortunately, he never did. My dad let me take a shower and while I did, he woke up my sister who was happily sleeping on the soft comfy bed. After I finished king my shower, my sister stumbled into the bathroom and took a long shower and nearly drowsed off. I then dressed into my hakama and keikogi. I quickly ate my breakfast and took a taxi to the tournament place.
When I entered the room and was immediately greeted by the members of shoujinkan. They started doing some warm-ups which was leaded by bonnie. Then we put on our men. At that point me and my sister who had arrived late were ready to start the warm-ups. The shoujinkan members did men uchis and kirikaishi. It was very tiring but did achieve its goal to get us ready for the taikai. Bonnie did a very good job of that.
Then, the only thing I needed was to get the shiai set of mind ready. To do that, the tournament gave us 30 minutes to get that ready. We could to do it with anyone we wanted. First I went for kishikawa sensei and then did with joseph. After that, we started the opening ceremony which was so boring that someone started to talk to me. The rules were repeated and repeated in many languages. Soon after that, was the junior with no bogu category. To follow that was the adult with no bogu category. Finally, the 6-12 bogu category started. I was in the first match and was glad that I did the warm-ups and keiko. I could hear the shoujinkan members cheering for me and was very happy and was filled energy. I went for a men and got it! I was so happy that I got it and was happy that the shoujinkan members were cheering for me, and went for men a couple of times. Then finally, I go it. I kept on getting men smoothly and then finally until the finals. Now that I think about it, I think it was because of what everyone had done to help me during my whole kendo life. My dad, shoujinkan, the HKKA team, my friends from other dojos and a lot of other people. Then at the finals, I was against my sister.
The first thing I thought was, “what’s going on”. The second was,”why am I doing this?” then before I could register another though, the match started. As the match started, I felt that something was weird. No one was cheering for me. They were all cheering for my sister! It makes sense but I suddenly felt tired. I did a couple of men again but none of them were able to score a point. Then finally, I got my energy ready again and then did a 100% energized men and got a point.
Then after that, when we started the second round I still did a lot of men, but surprisingly had no kote, which was one of my best strikes. I did a men that used a lot of energy and while I was finishing the hit, my sister jumped in front of me and I tripped over her. Unfortunately for her, that was the second time she fell. For me, the 1st. Soon after that, the timer signalled the end of the match.
I had won the match and was very happy. I think that the most happy thing about the taikai was that I was able to keep things under control. Also that everyone was cheering for me during most of the tournament.
I think that the fact that the shoujinkan members helped me throughout the taikai was the best thing.
On the 6th October we had a children and ladies kendo tournament! YAY!
I didn’t feel nervous. I was excited. I was happy that I joined because I got to fight with new people, and show off my skills taught to us by Sensei.
Everyone thought my posture was like a man, I don’t think so. I don’t think my kiai was 100% because my voice was breaking *embarrassing*. I think in fights I could have done better because I feel I should have attacked more instead of defending all the time.
When I got my bronze medal I felt happy but there are many things that I can improve on like; posture, kiai, seme and attacking more.
I liked everyone’s support and I am grateful of that. I now feel I want to practice as much as possible and learn from as many people as possible but mainly from Sensei.
Thank you everyone!!
On October 6th, I went to the kendo tournament. I won 2nd place. My brother won 1st place. I won fighting spirit too! But first, I had a fight at the beginning of the taikai.
First I fought joey. I won. Then I fought Rachel. She is a girl. I also won her! I had won 2 people because my team members were cheering for me! Yay!
Then I fought my friend Xavier and we got equal and got 1 extra minute. I heard my team members cheering and I felt happy. Then in the 1 minute, we got equal. We both tried our best. Then the judge gave me the point because I had more 1 point chances. I had won and I was happy.
Then I had to fight David. I won. So I was in the finals! I was so happy. But then I realized that I had to fight my brother.
I was correct. My brother was in the finals. As the fight started, I heard that everyone in the audience had started to cheer for me. My brother made me fall. But everyone was cheering so I got back up. Then he won a point. Then the 2nd round started. My brother made me fall again. I got back up and everyone was cheering for me again. Then the match had finished and I got 2nd place.
I was happy because everyone had cheered and helped me even if I didn’t win. I did my best so it was okay.
A way to consolidate my “道”
6 October 2013 was a big day for me, not only was it my birthday, but also a milestone indicating my “道” in both Kendo and my own life.
It was my second time competing in the Novice Competition. In the first attempt, I practiced a lot on “基本” and practical skills. At that time, I thought it was sufficient to react to my opponents if I got these mastered. Obviously, one would not be able to master a skill in a short time, not to mention the possibility of perfecting it. I didn’t make it to the second round.
This time, I thought to myself: what does this competition mean to me? As an accountant, my time spent on practicing Kendo was getting less and less. It didn’t seem like I was going to win. However, I felt my devotion maturing. I would like to prove myself that Kendo is not something that assembles only sports, but an attitude to confront the reality. From the competition, the most important thing that I learnt is how to maintain a clear mind when facing different situations. Every move could be the last, and it hence should be perfected, leaving no regrets. Unfortunately, I still regretted. But I believe that will keep me improving.
To me, Kendo has a close relationship with my daily life. We learnt science in secondary schools, and if you are not a scientist, I guess you should have forgotten most of the elements in the periodic table. However, when coming across some phenomena, you may be able to recall what you learn and apply to solve problems. The ways to approach, to attack, to suppress the opponent or defend myself do not only present in Kendo but also in daily life when interacting with people. Similar to the above, keeping a clean mind and communicate in a good form is beneficial when dealing with clients.
“道”, many refer it to “road”, does not mean a single straight line from birth to death. It is formed by numerous streams of experiences and devotions, which shapes one’s life into never-drying river. Kendo is one of the main streams that construct my “道”. I would like to thank Kishikawa Sensei for his guidance, and my dojo buddies for practicing and improving together.