Match 09: Mens Individual: 17th All Japan Tankendo Championships

Commentary by Simon Larsen

This year Hisatsune sensei had given me the goal of getting out of the first round and I went into this shiai hoping to do well. Recently our training with Hisatsune sensei has been progressing and I felt that my big weakness was slowly being corrected.

I started exactly as I intended to by immediately charging the opponent and attempting to strike nodo. This has been quite successful for me recently and I am of the opinion that getting shou ippon makes the judges very much on your side for the rest of the match. It seems to me that once someone has scored if they keep pressure on the opponent the judges are willing to award points which may not have scored otherwise.

Unfortunately my tendency to shake the tanken up and down at my opponent resurfaced. This is a very stupid thing for me to do as it creates opening for the opponent and gives away my timing. I don’t know why I do it, please don’t copy me and I apologise cravenly to all those who have been reminding me not to do it for the past few months.

After my opponent took advantage of my shaking and attempted to score only narrowly missing (possibly for a lack of zanshin?) my intention to always be moving first was forgotten. I have an extremely bad habit of responding to my opponent and attempting to counter attack rather than driving the timing of the fight and forcing my opponent to react to me. This invariably leads to my strikes connecting with a less than straight arm giving away my normal reach advantage and to my zanshin being performed going backwards. Backwards zanshin can probably be done well by some people but I am not one of them.

In the end my opponent successfully took advantage of my static posture and scored moving around my nodo strike which was late and a counter anyway.

To conclude the demonstration of “What not to do in shiai” I started a charge for the second point then stopped halfway and stood still with my body facing forward rather than sideways giving my opponent a lovely big static target.

Back to the dojo to have a good hard look at myself. Probably have to buy some “Sorry Chocolates” to give out as well…

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