Commentary by Simon Larsen
I like matches where the competitors are both happy to get a little physical, especially when they are larger fellows.
Unfortunately I think many larger people don’t get to train being physical much as the damage you can do to smaller people is something you have to keep in mind, especially when learning how to push correctly. You can see here that Sakurai uses a bit of a push after his initial attack has failed. He achieved good clearance with the push but was unable to maintain his kamae and follow up with an attack.
The almost point at 0:48 I think Takeuchi may have let himself down as the strike might not have slid as much had he rolled his shoulder over a little. A visiting sensei who is a shiai specialist showed us that if your opponent has a good sideways stance you can improve your chances of a do strike sticking by rolling your front shoulder over slightly. It adjusts the angle of the tanken at the last moment and adds a little friction. It was emphasised that this shouldn’t be done for kihon and even in shiai too much will look weird and maybe stop you scoring.
Sakurai uses the kote feint then nodo nidan waza really nicely and the attempt at 1:21 was only a few millimetres off target. I am pretty sure that would have scored if it had actually connected to the nodo. Nice technique and nice timing there. Especially the ability to switch to striking ura nodo when Takeuchi moved to cover his do after the kote.
Takeuchi’s attempts at setei from tsuberzeriai at 1:34, 3:05 and 3:28 show just how hard setei against someone your own size is if they don’t want you to do it.
Sakurai’s point at 2:45 looked again like Takeuchi was unlucky to have his own strike slide off.
What I am taking away from this match is that I need to practice setei and pushing against some big people and practice making my do strikes stick against an angled opponent.