Bowden and Premier Taikai June 6-7th June 2009

This year’s Sir Frank Bowden Taikai and Premier’s Cup took place on 6th and 7th June at Reading. Hizen entered 4 teams in the Bowden Taikai and 7 members took part in the Premier’s Cup, making us the biggest group at both events.
Over the two days Hizen members demonstrated outstanding kendo and achieved brilliant results. At the Bowden Taikai, Hizen D team (Nick Davey in Senpo, Stephen McDonald in Jiho, Clayon Stewart in Chuken, Philip Wilson in Fukusho and Satoshi Miyamura in Taisho) finished second in the tournament consisting of 21 teams, and as the Taisho of the team, Satoshi also received the Fighting Spirit award. At the Premier’s Cup, Clayon reached the quarter finals and Paul Gray climbed to the last 16 of the tournament.

It was not just our numerical dominance nor these medals or awards that marked the impact of Hizen at these tournaments. More importantly every one of us who travelled played our part, not only by individually demonstrating kendo at a high level, but we all stood together

as a group and always demonstrated strong collective spirit and discipline. We not only managed to maintain the competitive edge over opponents, but also we made so many friends through the day – it was pleasing to hear people, even our defeated opponents, coming up to congratulate us and tell us how they enjoyed the attitude and approach of our teams, and that they would like to visit our dojo and practice with us in the future.

The achievements at these competitions mark a step in the direction instigated by Jeff Humm Sensei at Hizen over recent months. It is a demonstration that our focus on fundamentals and our dojo ethics is developing technical foundation and mental strength amongst all of us.

However, this is of course only a small step in our journey. The experience of testing our kendo and character at such a platform was a privilege but also a truly humbling experience. We have all gained further experience and conviction in the direction of our development, as well as highlighted issues and challenges, which we must now take back to the dojo and reflect in our practice.

Report Mr S. Miyamura
Photos Mr N. Arjan