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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Fearless - Highschool 33

Fear less mind and strong physical…, I have no other words to express this player, Tashiro who is Taisho of Fukuoka daiichi high school.

Normal players fear to go Men, because if opponent players react Kote or Do very well, Kote or Do becomes ippon instead of Men. So, many players usually do not jump audacious Men at very important settings.

The video I am introducing today is final match of Fukuoka preliminary of all Japan high school kendo championship (inter-high).

Basically, only one winner team at a prefecture can go to the inter-high, no matter how a prefectural level is high. Fukuoka is one of toughest place where the team win this preliminary because of so many good players and strong teams.

Let’s check it first. Before Taisho match, the score was 1(1) – 2(2). So, if draw white team (Fukuokaohori) win. But, the white team Taisho Ikeda was the player who beat red Taisho Tashiro in individual match.

Soon the match started, red player made pressure and hit white player. Next exchange was draw, but at 0:29 red player just attacked white player’s Men from distance and hit relentless Men.

3:34 red player hiki Men was ippon if this was adult match, but there are some rules in high school match, which is not sometimes clear that is criticized and controversial.

So, red player won and he pushed back the score to tie, but this is not enough to win. So, the extra inning by each representative, Daihyo match occurred.

Red player chose same player Tashiro, but white team decided to chose Senpo player. Let’s see what happened.
So, drastic…, I don't think white player was bad, instead he did his best, but red player was too strong for him.


I am looking forward to see this player in inter-high this year!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Strongest player 2

Last time, I introduced Masahiro Miyazaki. There, I also mentioned he recorded 2 times consecutive victory.

I found 2nd time victory video of 1999 (following).
The video starts from quarter finals, Miyazaki showed up red corner from 1:19-.

This quarter final match is a rather controversial match. If you see both player's exchange at 3:07, what do you think? Red Men (Miyazaki) or white Do (Eiga). I thought Men for the first sight.

In fact, Men swerved a bit from main point and Do hit appropriately. You can confirm slow-motion video from 4:51-. But weirdly, if you see normal speed, many thought Men looked dominated. It is possible red player's stroke was so sharp with perfect timing that made enough impact sound and allow judges to raise red side (3-0).

His semifinal starts at 14:20- (red side again). Opponent player (white side) is young player Sato and known as aggressive skill. For example, 15:03 hit was close to ippon and was dangerous point for red player.

17:37, red player finally got hiki-Men in momentary carelessness of white player.

Final starts 19:16-. Miyazaki was white side in the match. At first, they started even psychologically.

But, when Miyazaki's Men caught unexpected timing (20:03), the match gradually became one-sided. I imagine opponent player felt as if he was deceived, because of a sudden counterattack. Red player might be at a loss.

So, Miyazaki sensei is very strong player. But, he couldn't won three consecutive year at end. Next year at 2000, Eiga mentioned above made victory to Miyazaki and became champion.

To 2018, Nishimura became champion from 2017-2018, so he has entitled to challenge first record in 2019. Let's see what happens this year!

Also, other matches in the video is also fascinating, so if you have time, check and find your favorite matches and ippons!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Strongest player

Historically, no player has been stronger than Masahiro Miyazaki, who belongs to Kanagawa prefectural police.

The following is the video all Japan final match at 1991, when Miyazaki made the first record of consecutive victory of the tournament (1990-1991). It is also surprising that he did it again from 1998-1999.
Miyazaki is white side player in the match. His outstanding strength is strong and stable mentality and unequaled handling of shinai.

He is able to stroke critical point at any timing, either forward or backward, and it made him much superior to others.

At 1:29, white player was stuck by red player's shinai. It was very painful stroke although it couldn't be ippon. This hit might influence both players psychologically.

Next moment, white player made pressure a step inward to red player. When red player tried to push pressure back and went forward, white player activated artful trap.

Up to this time, no player did consecutive victory, so the venue had unrest and exciting atmosphere that "Was it possible..."

Red player was also upset and thought he had to back the score to tie. So, he was hurry and it made him careless a bit. White player didn't let opponent give another chance.

At 2:25, white player stroked beautiful Men. It looked easy for him, but it was almost impossible timing for other players.

Two player recorded consecutive victory of the tournament later, Takanabe (2010-2011) and Nishimura (2017-2018). They are splendid of course, but if they played same age as Miyazaki did, I think Miyazaki outreached most of the time.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Fabulous debana-Men

There are variations of Men, hiki-Men, Kote-Men, kaeshi-Men…, and so many nice technique or ippons exist.

But as for “*debana-Men”, I think the ippon in the following video is the most destructive and beautiful in my recollection. It was 2015 all Japan police individual championship 4th round. Red player is Kawaguchi (Kanagawa), and white player is Tuchitani (Osaka). 
 
As start, white player stubbed tsuki, red player twisted his body a bit and dodged.

At 0:46, white player stroked fast and steady Men. It was very so called “Ki Ken Tai icchi (means matching spirit and sword and body)”, thus if without guard, it instantly became ippon.

White player is very aggressive player with swift body and footwork. I think this day is for his day; he might be best condition.

At 2:46, red player tried hiki-Do. It was unguarded and not perfectly, but touched white player’s Do for sure.

Before 4:33, white player made a little pressure to red player. Red player reacted and went forward into white player’s territory. Next moment, white player didn't miss the opportunity and stroked debana-Men with supple snap.

I have never seen such a fabulous debana-Men before. How do you think?



* debana-Men is a technique hitting Men faster when opponent player trys to move forward and do something.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Practice (footwork etc) - Highschool 32

I previously introduced skillful footwork play,

And this time I found how they practiced this kind of footwork technique in youtube video. The following is the video.
I may not need to explain further, because Kyusyugakuin is one of the most famous strong team of high school club in Japan.

So, in the first sentence, the history of the records or prominent alumni is introduced; Since club establishment in 1911, 7 times spring all Japan high school tournament victory, 7 times Gyokuryuki tournament victory, 5 times summer all Japan high school tournament victory, and had alumni such as Uchimura and Nishimura (2015 made video).

First, from 1:50 Mr. Komeda (Supervisor) explained students for the importance of finishing hitting imaginary competitor in front with good snap.

So, footwork training starts at 3:10-. He explains several points e.g. body is stabilized while footwork keeping supple as much as possible.

At 4:02, Hoshiko practices, who was the representative of all Japan team player at WKC at 2018. At that time, he was still in high school.

Next, they practiced basic Men. At 5:31, he explains try to pressure reverse side of the aim and hit.


Finally, they did Kirikaeshi practice, it looks not good stroke, but remember it is abridged version (I think several minutes or more than 10 minutes, they kept stroking, so they are exhausted.) Anyway, they continue hard practice and that made them strongest.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Big record - Highschool 31

Senbatsu kendo tournament of high school student is held in Aichi prefecture every year at spring. This tournament is very important for high school kendo players.

Only teams win preliminary in each prefecture have entitled to participate. Therefore, players are generally competitive from 1st round and winning this tournament means the champion of all domestic Japan teams in spring.

This tournament is known as one of big four championship of high school. (others; Kaiseiki, Gyokuryuku, and Interhigh).

The tournament started at 1992, whose winner was Ikuei (Hyogo prefecture). Surprisingly, Kyusyugakuin (Kumamoto prefecture) high school won 6 consecutive years by 2018, and one big interest of audience is “Is it possible to win this year? (Or stop the record)”.

The following is the final match, the red corner is Kyusyugakuin and white is Meiho (Oita).
Briefly, I would like to explain the result, so first Senpo and Jiho drew the matches.

At Chuken, Kyusyugakuin got lead. At 13:52, red player chuken decided Kote. White player for that moment, drew backward a bit. Though white player tried to stroke Men and one judge for white, red player’s Kote outreached its momentum and precision, two judge admitted for red side.

White Fukusho and Taisho player were eagar to get back the score, but red side players were very good at defense and couldn’t return the score.

So, red side Kyusyugakuin is congratulation for 7th serial win. Incredible!


We saw the team this year this February at another tournament, and to be honest, we didn’t expect so much because previous years’ team were much more powerful. Although many matches were marginal victory like this final match, they did win this year also and continued the winning record. It was extraordinary.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Debana-Men (counterattack Men) - University 54

The following youtube video is from 2013, all Japan student kendo tournament of team. Every year, this tournament is held in autumn season.

The red team is Tsukuba Univ., and white team is Hosei Univ. The red player is Takenouchi, and white Syutoku. Interestingly, both players are from Fukuokaohori high school at Kyusyu district.

It was extra inning match, daihyosen. Because they end up in tie score after Taisho (last players) match, they chose one player each from their team. Psychologically, white player was more tough, because he last his position before this match, and junior player is easier to play carefree in general.
The red player Takenouchi’s one of favorite technique is “debana-Men”, counterattack Men when opponent player tried to approach.

At 0:35, red player stroked Men in half-way distance, this kind of stroke is menace for opponent. It is fast and unpredictable sometimes.

White player’s strong point is pressuring opponent player like he showed from 0:49-,1:45-, and 2:15-. Red player had to prevent by stepping back (Otherwise, he might be hit.).

At 2:02, red player hit good Do, though it was bit far from critical point.


At 2:53, when white player approached to aim some place, red player reacted and swung very fast and captured Men.

Fearless - Highschool 33

Fear less mind and strong physical…, I have no other words to express this player, Tashiro who is Taisho of Fukuoka daiichi high school. ...