Commentary by Simon Larsen
A lot of people think jukendo is the dangerous one of the two arts but tankendo seems to have more injuries once you have achieved a basic skill level. Certainly I get hurt and hurt myself a lot more often in tankendo. I think the much shorter distances are the main cause. A couple of centimetres change in ma-ai is a large percentage when you are that close.
You are going to get hit above the do so make sure your mune-ate is nice and high. Ewa had to make some adjustments to hers by folding the bit over the shoulder up and sewing it in place to ensure the padding covered her collarbone.
I’d also recommend not using a naginata or kendo men with the much smaller nodo. Not only is it narrower and therefore less protective, it is not as stiff and has a habit of curling up like Koike’s which means a nodo attempt can slip underneath a lot easier. Getting hit in the throat can ruin your day.
If you do have to stop during a match the preferred etiquette is to
- Raise your hand so the judges know what is happening
- Return to the starting positions
- Take kamae, do naorei, bow and walk back to the edge of the court (staying inside the court!)
- Kneel in seiza and fix your bogu or whatever you need to do, remember if your bogu comes loose and the judges think it is your own fault they can give you hansoku.
- The other competitor should mirror the actions however they don’t kneel.
- When you are finished stand up, bow, walk 5 steps to the starting position, bow and take kamae (just like when starting a match).