By Myoken Dojo, May 27 2015 12:29PM
Transferred from previous web site
Originally posted on 3 June 2014
Recently our dojo has shrunk in membership and those we have often have weekend work commitments or injuries, so attending national events is not possible, given also the travel time and cost of hotels is prohibitive for some. However this year Elena and I went to represent Myoken dojo. As usual I was refereeing the Iaido competition. Elena was competing in both iaido and jodo.
So all we have to report, apart from having a great time, meeting old and new friends, and all the good feelings that justify the fear, nerves and frustration of competition, is that we learned a lot – as one might expect working at this level.
For me refereeing is always a big challenge, even with many years of experience at National and European levels, and even refereeing in Japan on occasions. Comparing two people, especially when you know them, and trying to balance technical correctness, realism and spirit is never easy. When one displays strong pressure and the other a more positive timing, or when one makes an error and another has stronger spirit – and the referees have to make instant announcements on the call in a manner that all can see creates huge pressure. When the other two referees vote for one side and I vote for the other I spend a lot of time later trying to replay what happened and re-examining my decisions. There is a lot to learn here.
But for the Dojo the great success of the weekend was Elena’s triumphs. In the 4th Dan iaido section she was knocked out by the eventual winner at quarter finals level but was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. She also joined with two members of Genbukan Dojo in Edinburgh to make a 3-person team in the team event. The team won 3rd place. Well done to all of them for their joint successes, not only Elena but David Hickey (3 Dan) and Matt Bielby (2 Dan) who both gave a great performance.
After some dodgy Indian food on Saturday night Elena was very ill all night and hardly slept, so she clearly expected to be an early victim in the Jodo taikai, especially as she only passed 5 Dan in January this year. For those who don’t know the grading system, 5 Dans cannot apply for 6 Dan until a minimum of 5 years after their 5 Dan grading. This means that many 5 Dans have much more time at this grade level than Elena. But despite all of this she won Silver, being knocked out on a 2-1 decision against Stoyanka Vidic of Seishinkan Dojo in London in the final. Elena also won the 5 dan fighting spirit award and later took a silver medal in the Jodo team competition.
All in all a great day for the dojo, even if this year we were only able to put up one competitor.
Next year we are hoping to do even better. Please see our FaceBook page for photos of the event.