Photo taken by Wakabyashi san
The detroit tournament was another great success. The seminar before hand was also wonderful. Teramoto sensei was absolutely wonderful to watch. As the All-Japan Champion it was great to see a taller person move so quickly. I have to figure out how to move that quickly with such grace. Also, congratulations go to John Ellison on passing shodan and our old member Amy Dawson for passing shodan as well. Uetake sensei from UofM must be congratulated as well for passing his Yondan exam, as well as Joe Ponchart on passing Sandan. Onto the matches. I was feeling pretty confident with my jodan again this year and faced an old rival of mine from Ken Zen in NYC Takahashi sensei in the individuals, which were yondan and up. The match was very evenly matched and I felt that I could have won but he got me to commit too quickly and scored with a men kaeshi men for the first ippon. After that point I was determined to get one back and rushed again into another men kaeshi men attack. This match was very frustrating for me but showed me that I need to continue working on paitence on the attack. The comments afterward from Takahasi sensei were that my jodan had improved since the last time we had fought, so that was a good thing. Onto the teams. Eastern had one of the strongest teams we have ever had this year and we did extremely well. The order was Kondek, Ichiki, Myself, Ellison, Fukuma sensei. The first match had Charlie score two ippon and Ichiki scoring two one as well. Then it was me up against another nito kenshi. What is it with nito these days. Anyway, I took the match to him and made him attempt to strike targets that I wanted him to hit. He tried to hit do and I took his shinai out of his hand for hansoku. Then he tried it again and, again, his shinai went to the ground. Hansoku number two and a point for us. Now, I really do not like getting points ths way but if you can not hold onto your shinai you deserve it. We were through to the next match. The next match had us up against Ken Zen with Takahashi sensei as Taisho. Charlie got one point and lost one point for Hiki wake and then Ichiki lost two points and we were down a point. I was up against someone I had not fought before and got him to raise his hands and struck kote for ippon number one. Then, as he dropped his attention I got a hiki men for ippon number two. We were now up by one point. Ellison was next and went up against a sandan who got a kote, that really should not have counted, but he got the point back with a kote nuki men. Very big point. We were still up by one and it was Fukuma sensei against Takahashi sensei. Great match where Fukuma sensei scored two points. We were through to one match before the court final against JCCC. We started off this match down three points and it was me against an old friend of Ichiki's. I went down a point because my men fell short and stuck into my aite's keikogi and I stopped, never stop, I was pissed at myself and quickly tried to gain the point back only to lose another one to kote nuki men, my nemisis. All and all we did very well and it was a great success for Eastern Kendo. We have to figure out a way to get past that level in the teams. It has now been four tournaments of reaching that level. Thanks to everyone in Detroit for a great tournament and we'll see you all soon. Cheers!