Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

My recent shiai performance reflected these wise words perfectly.

I took part in the Shibuya Taikai again this month, competing in both individual and team events.
In both, my performance was less than satisfactory, losing both of my fights.

I was lucky enough to get a buy into the second round, my opponent for the first round didn't show up.

I lost in the second round of the individuals to a student from Aoyama Gakuen University, losing men, but only losing by one point. It was a good ippon from the student, after both attacking kote, we separated, and he came forwards again, I pushed in to attack and I was caught by a nice debanna men!

In the team tournament I fought on Michi no Ko team C, we came up against Aoyama Gakuen team C in the very first match of the competition.

Michi no Ko C team, in white. From left to right: Doherty, Funahashi, Ariga, Miura, Walter.

I fought as senpo, and despite my best efforts I lost two ippon. The first was men, from an ai men, and the second was nuki do. I had to retie my do himo and from the restart, (foolishly) went straight for men, this played right into the students hands and he just whipped past me with a nuki do. If id been practicing more I would have thought before I cut! I'd not of gone in so quick!

Anyway it was all over after that, we lost 3 matches, with the fukusho and taisho both getting scoreless draws. I was disappointed for losing the do, but over all felt my performance reflected the preparation that I hadn't done!

I didn't feel bad, or annoyed at losing, because I knew that's what I deserved. I cant expect to turn up to a shiai having barely practiced and get something out of it. Especially not the 3 dan group for individuals which is full of university students.
I wont make excuses, it simply wasnt good enough for me to not prepare well.

I wont let that happen again.

The last two months have seen my amount of practice drop significantly, from 5-6 times a week to maybe 2 or 3. There are a number of reasons for why I haven't practiced as much, but I think it has more so been my lack of drive during the keiko that I have attended, that let me down in the shiai. I didn't prepare for this shiai as I would have usually, I didn't increase my practices, or really focus myself towards it at all.

I think its now extremely important for me to make sure that each keiko I can go to, I treat like my last! Giving everything during each session (well more than usual of course!), and making sure that if I go 2 or 3 days without keiko, I still feel like I did enough at my last session. Of course I do suburi every day at home as we as the usual home exercise, and a good dose of running every day (I play soccer with my junior high students most days) but I must make sure not to lose focus on my Kendo.


I've been really not practicing as much since moving in with my lady, I feel it would be unfair to head off to kendo 5 - 6 times a week and leave her feeling alone having just moved to Tokyo. So instead of kendo I've been enjoying some home comforts, cooking and cleaning etc as well as going out a little bit more. Once she gets a bit more settled Ill be able to get to more practice.

Last week, I went to my dojo for practice since my school was on holiday. I went bananas.

Full tilt from the beginning, kiai like a mad mad, striking men like a charging bull and just not stopping! It was great, I was exhausted and felt really good after having some nice jigeiko.

The next day I went home from work early with pain in my lower back, I took the next day off aswell to rest. The next few days I had travel plans with my missus, so of course I had to go, walking was extremely difficult, and even sitting down was painful. The pain did subside a little before the taikai, but I think it affected my performance quite a bit.

Anyway, excuses aside, I must make sure not to let my focus drop. Ensure that each keiko I attended I attend as if I wont get to practice ever again. Ensure that I give everything in kihon keiko, and maintain that focus during jigeiko.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to have some more stuff up soon.

Take care!