As most of you know, Kenshikan held their 20th anniversary celebrations last Sunday. It was a long day starting from the early morning and finishing at around 9:30pm. The day consisted of the Nagae Taikai, lots of demonstrations, the Otsuka Taikai and the special anniversary dinner.
The format of the Nagae Taikai has “evolved” over the years, as Tony Corrigan put it. This year, the Nagae Taikai was a high-level Kendo competition (no Kata). Only 2-dan and above were allowed to compete which set the stage for some pretty intense shiai! Not to mention a lot of encho (overtime) matches! Both Chiaki and Cyntheia played in this one, but unfortunately were knocked out early in the comp. The taikai ended with Kaz Kimura (MBK) getting first place. Congratulations!
This was followed by a Kendo Kata demonstration performed by Tony Corrigan (MBK) and Stan Corrigan (MBK). Next was an Iaido demonstration by Tim Wilson (MBK) and two others. Following that was the Naginata vs. Kendo demonstration. This yea it was a bit different, with a nito player on the Kendo side. Interesting!! The last demonstration was the Junior competitors, where our own Amane Uchida and Riku Uchida played against 2 other juniors from Kenshikan. Both Amane and Riku played tough matches, putting their best efforts into it but the matches eventually ended against them, both losing 2-0. Better luck next time!
The Otsuka Taikai was next. This is a different type of Taikai. The format is basically teams of 3 people, but those 3 people can be any other competitor! This means that you will most likely be teamed up with competitors from another club than your own. That is the fun part! 😀 Otsuka was open to all competitors, and this is where most of the competitors from Monash were playing. Everyone from Monash payed really well with special mention to Trent’s team who got all the way to the finals, and were juuust short on winning the trophy.
Here are some impressions of the day, from Akira who was one of the supporters/spectators from Monash:
In a gloomy rainy day making clothes cling to body and feel weary, it was a sharp spirited shout that changed and controlled the atmosphere in Kenshikan; a blink of eyes and a vertical motion of shoulder by breathing matter. Somehow felt as if lung forgot to take air or maybe rejected to. Under such circumstances, Kendo players in each match however maintained their consciousness and remained calm, pointing swords to opponent’s throat and waiting for an opportunity.
Experiencing the atmosphere helped me realise a fraction of the world of Kendo that no words can explain. If allowed me to try describing, it was new but somehow dear, and heart seized with fear but still touched by. I, still as a beginner in Kendo, would be drown to death during a Kendo match but am looking forward to challenge not only other beginners but also seniors in Kendo matches.
Thanks Akira! Oh, and we look forward to playing you as well heheh!
And thanks to everyone who came and competed for Monash! As we said at Monday’s training, this year we sent our largest number of competitors in recent memory. The competitors were: Chiaki, Cyntheia, Ophelia, Keegan, Trent, Mony, Amane, Riku, Hoey, Justine, Paul, Nick, and Adrian. Masato was there too… but just for the photos 😛
And a big thanks to our supporters Akira and Ken! It’s really great to see some of the juniors from the club coming and supporting us. I’m sure it was an extremely long day for you guys, so thanks a lot. And thanks for taking photos!
Well, that’s it for now. As we said at Monday’s training, if you missed out on watching/competing at Nagae/Otsuka, then you’re really missing out! It’s a fun event and is actually my favourite event in the AKR calendar. It’s held every year, so we encourage you all to participate the next time it’s on!
Finally, check out the photos at the Photo Gallery~