3 things that Takanabe senshu learned from his loss

I have found an interesting artcle about Takanabe senshu at “世界選手権・団体戦 日本が初めての敗北 3つの教訓、再び日本代表へ” . It is about how he overcame his loss and became even stronger. I would like to share what he learned from his loss.

A Necessary Evil. Losing is Just Like It.

No one likes losing but what Takanabe senshu learned from his loss at WKC brought him 2 victories (in a row) of All Japan Kendo Champ and the victories of the team and individual tournaments of the WKC that he fought as the Taisho of the team.

Of course, he struggled. He did not want to fight anymore after he lost in his first WKC. He failed his 6-dan exam. Nothing good happened after his loss.

But he worked on 3 things after his loss.

  • Lacking techniques to get a valid cut
  • Strategies when fighting as a team
  • Lacking analysis of opponents

Lacking techniques to get a valid cut

Takanabe senshu is famous for his lighting men strike. It only take 0.10 second for him to strike a men once he sets himself to launch his men cut.

But he said, he relied on only his men strike. He needed more varieties of strikes to get a valid cut.

You might have notice that he executes more kote and tsuki strikes in his recent matches. And his tsuki is really impressive.

So he gained more varieties of techniques for him to get a valid cut.

Strategies when fighting as a team

Even though we fight individually even in a team fight in kendo, each person has their own role. It is not about you, it is about the team.

So even if you want to win, if it is OK for you to draw, you do not have to win. What that means is there is a difference between what you want and what you need to do.

He was a position of jiho (the second person to fight) in this WKC and the first person or senpo won his fight. And according to him, he did not have to fright to win because all he had to do was to keep the momentum for the team.

But he went for his own victory. He tried to win and as a result, he lost.

This lost stopped the momentum of the team.

Lacking analysis of opponents

He thought his main and true enemy was Korea. He did study about the players of Korea but not of the other countries. As a result, Japan lost to America.

This is when America and Korea fought at the final and Korea became the world champ.

Every single player at the world champs train hard. No doubt about it. But they study their opponents a lot. Sun Tzu says, “if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles (From wikiquote)“. He did not know about his opponent.

What can we learn from this

Kendo is not about winning and losing. Have you heard this before? It was necessary for him to lose. Without this loss, he is not who he is now. After he lost, he did not quit. Of course, he was in the dark. He did not know what he shroud do. But he realised the 3 things and worked on it.

  • Realisation of own weaknesses
  • Working on them to overcome
  • Staying humble

This is a process to improve.

Kendo is not about winning and losing.

It is about a process of self-development. Winning and losing are only a result and more importantly they are also a part of the process.