With my calves still sore, typing an article on kendo training is like the cool down exercise for the mind.
Last month on 7/31, we traveled down south to Tainan City to participate in the annual North-South Competition. The main event is the match between the North Team and the South Team, which consists of kendoka from the northern and the southern Taiwan, much like the idea of the Tosai (East-West) Competition.
Each team has almost 80 players, and there are two courts. 40 players from each team fights in one court with the "point-scoring" system, where one player fights with only one player (the most common system); The other 40 players fight in the other court with the "advancing" system, where one player stays on the court to fight the next if he wins.
There is also team competition between dojos. The North won overwhelmingly on the day, and the matches were exciting accompanied by lots of cheering.
I won two matches and lost one. Our dojo's team were not able to advance, and lost to a team whom we should have won. I think I played a big role in our defeat, because I was the Senpo and lost 2-0. My opponent wasn't impossible to win, but he was more experienced and calm. He made me think that I had the chance, so I launched a kote-men strike. He scored with a kaeshi-do. Then I became impatient, and wanted to get the point back. He caught a debana-kote.
It's a classic example of not being calm enough, making enough seme before striking. A good lesson to be learned!!
The event took place in a very special place called the Butokuden "武德殿". It's officially classified as a national heritage, and there's a similar one in Kao-Hsiung, where we also went for a competition 2 years ago. It was built during the Japanese occupation period for the police to train kendo and judo.
Though victory didn't smile upon us, we did had a bit of fun taking a day trip down south in a nice weather. And I did learned a lot from this competition!