Fumetsu Cup 2012

2012-10-01 20:46:00

Thomas standing in line

Looking at the picture Peter-sempai shot of me, waiting in line for the shinai check, game me a sudden glimpse into my future. Will I look like Roelof-sensei in thirty years?

Yesterday I attended the 2012 Fumetsu Cup kendo tournament in Vlaardingen. A few weeks back I'd indicated that I would really like to compete and Marli was sweet enough to accomodate me. While I galivanted off to the Rotterdam area, she spent her sunday with our daughter. She's awesome <3

The Fumetsu Cup, as described by the NKR in the invitation: "The Fumetsu Cup is the yearly held surprise tournament in which all participants are randomly divided into teams of three persons. With their team they will compete for the cup. Teams will be captained by an experienced kendoka."

It's great fun because you get to meet people you normally might not and you're driven way out of your comfort zone. Instead of fighting with kendoka from Renshinjuku, my team was pitted against one of them. Unfortunately the last sentence of the description wasn't true for my team as all three of us were mudansha: combined we had about five to six years of experience and none of us even had our ikkyu. Hence why we were outed from the tournament after our three fights in the first round. Oh well :) I enjoyed teaming up with Kerstin (from Museido in Amsterdam) and Erik (from Shinbukan in Groningen); they were great people to meet and I learned from them in the short time we spent together.

In my three fights I matched up against Laurens from Suirankan, Ms Cha who at one point used to be with the UK Hizen dojo and Wim from Shinbukan. I really should have done a short practice round before the actual matches because I had the same problem that Kerstin had described: in the first fight I'm still "asleep", not properly alert. 

Afterwards I asked some of my sempai for their opinion on how I'd performed.

As I'd told Nick last saturday, my goal for the day was to at least show some proper kendo. I didn't want to make the same stupid mistakes like last time and I wanted to last at least a full, real match. Aside from the fight against Laurens I'm satisfied in that regard. Plenty to learn though! :) My thoughts were all over the place, I was focusing on too many things and yes I kept on dancing. Always dancing :(


I've had a chat with Wim and he remarked that I showed good kiai and that I was plenty greedy. I'll view the prior as a good thing, but the latter could swing either way. I could have been too greedy, like last time, or I could have shown proper assteriveness.

While walking to the office this morning I did have a realization: one of the worst things I was doing, was not stonewalling my opponents' attacks. Either I sidestepped and counter attacked, or I kept moving backwards to evade. Instead, I should receive their attacks in place and counter immediately.

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