As you know the annual Nagae Taikai and Otsuka Memorial Taikai was held a couple of weekends ago at Kenshikan Dojo. This is an annual event, with the Nagae Taikai being an individual event for 3 Dan and above, and the Otsuka Memorial Taikai being a teams-based event for 2 Dan and below.
The Nagae Taiaki this year is only the second time that it has been held, the first one (of this style) being in 2010. There were quite a few participants with one from Monash – Itsuhiro. His matches were exciting to watch with him winning his first two matches. His next match was against Kimura. This match was quite tense since the first point took a while to score, going to Kimura. Itsuhiro levelled the score with a Do cut almost immediately after the ni hon me call! 😯 But Kimura ultimately won the match, and also ended up winning the Nagae Taikai. That makes him the winner for a second year running! Congrats! And congrats to Itsuhiro who continued to play in the “Revival” section of the taikai and came equal 3rd!!
The Nagae Taikai was followed by an Iaido demonstration and then a Naginata vs Kendo demonstration.
The Otsuka Memorial Taikai is a different kind of Taikai than your usual team-based one. The 3 person teams are made up of other competitors who register on the day. More likely than not, the 3 members of the team will be from different clubs! This makes the Otsuka Taikai a more friendly and social taikai. Each of the competitors from Monash were on different teams this year and all played really well. Eventually my team came second with Keegan’s team coming first. A first and second place for Monash! Woo~
Thanks to this year’s beginners who came to support us!
And thanks for taking photos and videos for us. We hope you guys enjoyed it, you guys will be playing in this event next year! Speaking of beginners, here’s what Rebecca and Vivian had to say about about their impressions of the day:
On the day of the long anticipated annual Nagae & Otsuka Remembrance Taikai, Bec and I answered the beckoning of the ever-enthusiastic Mony and came as fellow supporters…and in the end, camera men.
The Nagae taikai was held first for kendokas 3 Dan and above. It was enriching to watch the more senior kendokas in action and interesting to see the alternative nitto style of kendo at play. Congratulations to Itsuhiro Takizawa for an impressive effort and placing third! *applauds*
After failing to navigate ourselves around Kenshikan dojo to the nearest source of food, we returned to watch the Iaido and Naginata demos. The iaido demo was not what we had expected it to be as it was a very quiet art and we were not able to see enough to know what it was really about nevertheless it was still quite interesting. The Naginata versus Kendo demo was even better still as we were able to get a better idea of what naginata was like in comparison to kendo. We had once considered trying naginata over kendo, but in the end we still think kendo is the best!! :DD
Next was the long awaited Otsuka Taikai! The competitors were randomly sorted into teams of three and thus the enthusiasm flared. With all our seniors in different teams, it was exciting to watch them compete. Who would’ve thought that despite Mony’s tendencies to teach us beginners the wrong things, he can perform so well in shiai? In all seriousness, a big congratulations to all our seniors for doing so well in the taikai; Keegan’s team came in first place followed by Mony’s team in second! Omedetou! 😀
We shall definitely look forward to competing in this next year!
Bec and Viv
Hmm.. now I see why Bec and Vivian explicitly asked me not to edit their impressions!! 😳
Overall, it was a great day of Kendo. The day started really early, just before 9am and ended at about 4pm. It was cold but it was a great turnout with competitors representing just about every VKR Kendo club. This year Monash had it’s most number of participants in recent history with a total of just over 10 competitors in both taikais. This was also the first competition for some our new members to represent Monash: Itsuhiro, Yoshinori and Ka Man.
There will be plenty more taikais to play in, and watch soon! 😀
You can see all the photos at the Nagae Taikai and Otsuka Memorial Taikai 2011 (16 July, 2011) Gallery. Some videos were also taken, we’ll try to get those on the website soon too. Thanks again to everyone who came!