Match 1 : Ladies Individual : 17th All Japan Tankendo Championships

Commentary by Simon Larsen.

I was going to get Ewa drunk and just record her rantings but she insisted I write the commentary.

The opening point is a good example of why maintaining your kamae is so important in shiai. Just that small amount of lifting the tip of the tanken while running in made Sato’s strike that little slower and weaker in her grasp resulting in the strike sliding across the do.

The second point I think Ewa was very unlucky with angles and two judges maybe couldn’t see that the strike didn’t connect at all. Perhaps it is good I didn’t get her drunk and record her rantings…

At 01:07 Ewa shows a nice technique she has been working on, it is a shiai version of the first ireme setai kata. Attempt a do thrust then if it fails move in for the setai thrust. Hisatsune sensei loves this technique. In this case Ewa fails because the grip on the arm wasn’t enough to prevent her opponent maintaining balance and escaping but it is good to see pretty hard techniques actually come to mind in shiai.

Ewa’s second setai attempt also failed to break Sato’s kamae. I suspect this is because Ewa’s left arm is bent when contact is made. I have found that if your arm is completely locked straight when it connects it transfers your body weight a lot more effectively. A bent arm means you arm trying to use arm strength to break the opponents kamae. Easily said of course…

The final strike reminds me I must go and learn the actual rules for judging. I don’t know if a strike which misses the nodo completely can still score (similar to how a strike to the shoulder or kote can score in jukendo if, and only if, the wrist or shoulder are in the direct line of striking the kata). Perhaps it was just another unlucky angle.

My takeaway from the match is to practice getting my arm straight for setai attempts and maybe go find the rules for tankendo judging.

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