Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cleveland Tournament Review

This past weekend was the Kendo tournament hosted by the Cleveland Kendo Club at Case Western Reserve. This is also the first time I was able to participate in the Shodan/Nidan division after over 5.5 years of practice.

Unfortunately, I didn't get past the first match in individuals. This was a higher tournament bracket, so I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. Then there's the fact that I was working with less than 2 hours of sleep and 4 hours of driving which probably didn't help either. If I were to stop here though, then I'd just be making excuses for myself and would really just defeat the purpose of these things.

Despite the loss, I took as to what is expected of me to do well at tournaments in this next bracket and I realize that I have a lot to work on. I saw a lot of really fast and active Kendo going on as the competitors were whittled down towards the finals, so I am pretty sure I need to get to that sort of level to increase my own capabilities.

We didn't make it past the first round for the team matches, but we all felt much better after this match compared to the individuals. Everyone was a lot more aggressive and lasted a bit longer in these matches.

Why is that? I think that it has something to do with the overall phyche of the team. When it came to the individuals, we were trying hard, but we had issues with the drive and the jitters when you see the huge amounts of people from the dojos that routinely do well in these tournaments. By time we got to the team matches, it was all about just having fun with it and being together and cheering each other on.

One thing that I think some people concern themselves too much on is how good the competition is and how badly they might be beaten. There's nothing wrong with having some concern to know where you stand in terms of the competition, but too much worrying tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy since that concern comes out when you're out there fighting. What we need to realize is that we are going out there to show everyone the best of our abilities, regardless of who it's against. And despite the other teams having larger rosters, more sensei and/or better facilities, it's still possible for someone in middle-America to do well as long as he/she applies himself/herself.

I really hope that we can use these next few months till the next tournament to really improve ourselves and show them what Cincinnati is all about! Oh yeah, it also helps if we all got more sleep, lol. One thing's for sure, we started thinking about how we can modify our training to increase endurance, aggressiveness and accuracy.


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