Match 42: Mens Individual: 17th All Japan Tankendo Championships

Commentary by Simon Larsen

Alex’s second match. Due to his injury he has started attempting fewer men strikes which I think is a good idea, he has a fast do strike and that scores a lot more often.

On top of my personal feelings regarding men vs do there is the risk factor of having to catch your tanken sneakily after it is knocked out of your hand during a men strike (00:46). When your wrist is bent to deliver a correct men strike it is very weak at hanging onto the tanken. If the opponent blocks strongly it falls easily.

As a side note if you are often dropping your tanken during a do / nodo strike but seem to have correct grip etc check that your tsuba is not loose. Since getting a tsubadome which doesn’t wobble I haven’t dropped my tanken once. I got one similar to these:

Alex covers it well and as it didn’t hit the ground I don’t believe it would be hansoku anyway.

Yoshihisa maintains hanmei during his strikes very well and gives himself even more of a reach advantage over Alex. This is very obvious at 01:01. Alex draws his striking hand back and loses hanmei leaving his do open. Fortunately for him Yoshihisa is maybe too close and his strike slides off. Relying on your opponents mistakes is not my favourite strategy though.

Yoshihisa scores at 01:16. It is quite an unusual technique, he actually blocks Alex strike with his hand. If that is deliberate then he must be one relaxed fellow, I am too tense in my hands for successfully counter strikes such as that even when doing the orthodox technique.

The second point at 01:58 Yoshihisa finally succeeds in getting the distance correct for taking advantage of the reach difference. The strike might not have been the best and I suspect Alex standing still against a rushing attack might have been a factor in that one. I know the points against me that I get in the most trouble for are the ones where I am standing with both feet still. Whenever I stand still I tend to move badly during the counter attack and this appears to be the case for Alex as well.

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