As is the norm here in Japan, kendo doesn’t stop over the holiday period (what little holiday period we have anyway), still, I shouldn’t complain! Luckily, as kendo is part of my job, if there is a shiai on a normal workday then that shiai becomes a “business trip” for me. Such was the case yesterday (the 26th of December).
Gathering at 8:30am in the south of the prefecture, my students enjoyed a full day of shiai hosted by a private school. Teams were put into groups of three of four and they fought each other round robin style to decide a first, second, and third place. In normal “official” shiai the winners of each group proceed into a regular tournament competition and fight it out between themselves, but in today’s competition there were three tournament competitions – one for each of the placings (any fourth placed teams didn’t proceed). This ensured that teams that didn’t do well could still go on and do some more shiai, making the day a lot more productive for all.
Yesterday’s shiai was followed by our last keiko of the year this morning. Every year my students do an in-club shiai followed by (after jigeiko and uchikomi of course) year-end suburi and finally dojo cleaning. My students keiko for the year is finished, but I will continue practising up until the 31st. Then, after a couple of days break, keiko will re-start for me on the 3rd. Good fun!!
Here is a small selection of pics from the shiai: