A bit shorter handed than we’d expected. At one point it looked like we were going to enter 3 teams this year, in the end we only scrabbled 1 team together.
The drive down was reasonable, just a bit early for a Saturday morning for my liking. Everything went well will we left the M4, at which point the instructions got confused and we headed off in the wrong direction. But after a bit of head scratching we got to the right place.
Found a space to drop our kit. And then started going through all the usual humdrum bits of queuing. There seemed to be a difference of opinion between various shinpan over wether the shinai check should be done with or without tsuba, but that was soon sorted by switching lines.
Our first match was against Hizen Ladies (A). First reading of the programme appeared to indicate we were Match 6 on shiai-jo C, so we warmed up appropriately (it’s really nice that there’s the seperate room to warm up in, it was great to get a couple of sets of kirikaeshi in, as well as suburi). All warmed up we made our way to the main hall, only to find out that we’d misread the timetable and they were only just finishing the play offs. Oops, now to try and stay warm/limber for a bit longer.
I was first on. Got caught with a very fast debana kote about 1 minute in. But didn’t give anything else away so lasted the 2 minutes. Felt very different from the last time I’d fought there (my first taikai) as I was now able to actually watch my opponent and wasn’t quite so easily led. I’m pretty happy with my performance, though there is a video, which I’m sure will show me exactly what I was doing wrong.
Unfortunately we then drew a match and lost the last one, so out of the tournament.
Spent an hour or so in the small room doing jigeiko with anyone who was available. Some success, some bits to watch out for. As ever it was very useful/instructive to fence with people other than the ones I train with every week.
Unfortunately I had to be back in the Midlands that evening and at work the next morning so we couldn’t stay for the Party, or for the keiko on sunday morning.
I did take some photos, and they’ll follow once i’ve finished off all the Drop Dead ones.