Thistle cup is coming!

Oh yes! The Thistle cup, the most important shiai placed in Scotland is coming, Saturday 3rd of May, Aberdeen. So the shinais are being oiled, kiais tunning and teeth are being sharpened. Yes. I recognize it: I like the “sport face” of kendo. I love it, actually. There are people in Kendo who dislike the idea of competition. They believe that competition infects kendo with a sporty attitude, leaving the martial art aspects just for the books and kendo kata. Ok, fair enough. They have their reasons, they probably are right in some aspects and, of course, they are respected by me.

But I don’t need to agree with. This feeling is great: being in the court, step in, bowing, sonkyo and go! You have two or three minutes -depending on competition- to beat your opponent and not been beaten. If you win, you think for a few seconds you are the king of the world, if you are defeated, you fell miserable. I haven’t had a lot of experiences in shiais, just the Kyusha shiai in London and some casual shiais that the uni guys state every fortnight. Love at first sight I must say.

If I talk about my preparation I should talk about my lack of preparation. I have just moved house, so two weeks out of kendo, plus personal and professional duties make me train just a week. This week, promise, I do some suburi, at least.

How is this related to my “way to shodan”? I believe shiai can have a didactic approach: You must control your nerves, you have a short time to show what you know and there is no second chance if you don’t offer your best. And, even doing your best performance, you can not get it. Do your best whatever the match end up and control yourself, basically.

Honda sensei brings us very good information about attitude to shiais in this document. As usual.

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