Match 68: Semi Final 1: Mens Individual: 17th All Japan Tankendo Championships

Commentary by Simon Larsen

Attacking from Geidan straight to nodo. Exciting start by Takizawa! Geidan is risky  and so is nodo but Matsura was slow off the starting line and it almost worked. None of the judges even twitched their flags though and I think that jukendo / tankendo judges love to award shou ippon so I guess maybe too much lunge in the strike.


Matsuura from the ALSOK (“Always Security Okay” security company) team is blisteringly fast, as are all their guys by civilian standards. Takizawa has a very nice instinctive kaeshi (returning strike) though and you can see in the exchange at starting at 00:50 that the kaeshi coupled with attacks allows Takizawa to deliver a bucket load of seme.


After the All Japan Jukendo teams match I was given a lot of instruction by Yanagisawa sensei and one of the key points he made is that if your opponent can strike as you are attempting to retreat / show zanshin it makes you nervous to attack. We now have a training routine where we strike and as we retreat the receiver strikes, this is Kaeshi; a returning strike.


We were training this with Konno sensei and one of the suggestions he made is that it is very strong if it is a reflexive attack. He suggested the best way to train it was not to retreat to full distance before the kaeshi is delivered, that is difficult and not reflexive. It is better to strike as soon as the distance is big enough to allow a strike without stepping forward. The example by Takizawa in that exchange looks like what the two sensei are trying to teach us I think.


The point (03:05) is scored with a series of three strikes by Takizawa and illustrates how powerful kaeshi waza is. Matsuura avoided the first two strikes but didn’t have a kaeshi strike to force Takizawa out of range and in avoiding the second strike lost his balance allowing Takizawa to charge in and score.


I like the way this match shows that even against super fast people strong technique can win. And I don’t think Takizawa had to run around much at all which is good as I am old and lazy. I shall copy him!

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