Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jodan in Detroit

So, another Detroit tournament has passed and with it more improvement and need to improve. To begin, the seminar with Funatsu sensei and Migita sensei was great. More stress on the basics with some new drills from the police department. Then it was on to the practice. I found myself in front of Migita sensei, and knowing that both senseis are jodan players I decided to take jodan after some chudan. Migita sensei just smiled that smile and then we fought. It was a lot of fun and he let me cut men on him once, my taiatari sent him to the ground. I was a bit concerned here but he got up smiling and said good cut. Now, that was a huge lift to my jodan. The next day it was on to the tournament. at the smeinar I found out I was up first against my old friend Condon. Ai jodan again. We decided to fight for a shot and a beer and it was on. The smack talk began. After shimpanning all morning we were the second match after lunch. I decided that I was going to focus on pushing in, because I had a feeling I could overtake his maai. Well, it worked and I felt that I had the upper hand from the beginning. Jon and I have known each other since we started doing kendo and are great friends so this match was a lot of fun. We were pretty even until I saw his kote open with a big target on it. I stepped in and took it for the ippon. Now the time was about half over and I knew that I could not just delay. He hit men but was too close to me and at that point I knew I had the maai and proceeded to take the match with the one ippon. Talisker and guiness for me. It was a great match. Next up was S. Asa sensei from Canada. Another person that I have seen and known for a long time. His kendo is great and I was determined to not be intimidated by him. The match began and I felt that I had a bit more control of the match then him so I hit men, the pop was there but no flags. At that point he smiled, that smile, and started to take it up a bit. Well he hit my kote as I was hitting men, the pop was there but no flags. As we collided and were in tusbzereai we both smiled at each other knowing that that was ippon. The next hit he took my kote again and no flags. At this point I knew that the match would be won by men or nothing. So we played with the maai a bit I forced him back with my seme and took his men. The flags went up but for him and they called a kote. Both of us were pretty confused at this, because I had not felt a cut and he too thought that it was not in. The time ran out and I lost to a kote call that did not hit. I was upset but determined not to show it. After the match Condon and many opther people were as shocked as I was with the call. It is importnat for shimpan at the yondan and up level to know what ippon is. So it goes. Ont o the teams, where we faced Battle Creek. I was up against Yoshida sensei, my friend and mentor. We fought a good clean match and he got my kote. The day had already been lost. Overall it was a great tournament and one that I was very happy with. Basics will always prevail and it is on to more practice. A small anecdote that is a great start. My wife and two boys came up to visit in the morning. as they were there Funatsu sensei waled by and said hi to my boys. Owen was great and stood up tall and said hello. After that they had a box of Girl scout cookies that we were going to give away. At lunch, I gave the cookines to Funatsu sensei from my boys. He returend the favor, which I told him was not neccessary, by giving Owen his first tenugui and Brendan a small kendo toy. I love kendo. See you on the floor.

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