BKA Kyusha Taikai and Kangeiko 3rd January 2009

This was the second attempt to hold this competition, as in September last year the floor of the venue was unsuitable for kendo so it was rescheduled.

Only three members from Hizen competed in this taikai: Chi Fung, Konstantin Shaposhni Kov and David Jordan. There were also many Dan grades from Hizen who came to participate in the BKA Kangeiko and to referee the competition.

The BKA Kangeiko started around 9.30am. There was a 10 minute warm up, then about 5 minutes of suburi, followed by an hours keiko since everyone’s just come back from the Christmas break. It was very enjoyable and give a chance for many beginners to relax before the taikai.

Around 11.15 all participants registered for the taikai and the referee seminar began shortly afterwards. The seminar was just to make sure that all the referees knew what to do during a match since there were some without previous refereeing experience.

They had to alter the taikai slightly after finding out that quite a number of people didn’t turn up. Instead of starting with knock-out matches, they adopted a pool system. Each pool match was 2 minutes long whilst during the knock-out stages the matches would be 3 minutes long.

Everyone had to register again and was assigned to a group. These groups were either on shiai-jo A or B and comprised 2-3 people with only 2 people from each group progressing to the next stage. All the Hizen competitors were assigned to different groups but were all in shiai-jo B.

To officially start the taikai, all participants and referees lined up in two lines facing each other and one of the organisers gave a short speech. There were roughly 25 people.

All members did very well but in the quarter finals Konstantin and Chi were drawn together. The match started, both of them kept issoku-itto no maai, fighting for the centre throughout the match using everything they had learnt. Konstantin managed to score two MEN and went through to the semi-finals.

Konstantin fought very well in the semi-finals and his opponent was tall and very composed too. The fight went to encho and Konstantin lost to what looked like a kote-nuki-men.

Overall Hizen did very well in the taikai and the juniors seemed to really enjoy the experience and learn a few things from it. Special thanks for the support and encouragement from the senior Hizen members which was warmly received.

Congratulations to Konstantin for coming 3rd and to Chi and David for showing good Kendo.

Report by C. Fung ,Photos by J. Martin