Thursday, January 15, 2015

National Team Tryouts
This past weekend I went down to Chicago to tryout for the Midwest team that attends the National kendo tournament this summer. I was a part of the team in the goodwill division at the last Nationals and was excited to try out again. I did not make it this time but will try harder at th enext tryouts. The set up was a round robin with four groupings. My group contained 7 people so we had 6 matches each. It was a great opportunity to test out my level of kendo against many different opponenets. Each match was scored with two points max and the points were totalled along with the win loss record to get a place in the group. My group contained, Murakami sensei (Detroit), Hanaki sensei (Detroit), Lin sensei(not sure), Tagawa the younger (Detroit), Wilson(Minnehana), Nori (Chicago) and me. My first two matches I went into way too tense and was beaten pretty easily by going in too early. Lin sensei got two points on me and then Murakami sensei scored two as well. I was not very happy with the two fights but kept going and made sure to do better. The next match was against Nori and I got two points with men to end the match. I was very happy at this point and felt that I could at least get the points back. Then I was up against Hanaki sensei. He was very strong and would not let me in but I managed to attack, and thought I had at least one kote. He managed to get ippon and then I let my guard down again and he scored. Now I was down to two fights left and pretty low on the scoring. I needed to get four points to even have a shot at feeling good. I was up against Tagawa and got two men and felt really good. Then I was up against Wilson, who was taller than me, and got two men on him as well. It was great to finish off the round that way and I felt very confident in my kendo at that point. After the matches, which Sugawara sensei was watching the entire time, I got some very good advice on the fact that I am sitting back too much and need to be more forceful in my seme. Driving home I felt very good to have finnished tied for third in points with Hanaki sensei with 6 points. I had three wins and three losses at the tryouts. I did not make the team but the tryout felt great and I was very happy with my kendo at points. I also feel that I need to continue to practice with people who are more advanced then myself in order to progress. This becomes harder and harder all of the time. Overall, the tryout was great and it was great to see my friends in Chicago and from elsewhere in the midwest and do kendo with everyone. See you all on the floor. Cheers!

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