Where did I go wrong?

by N
(Melbourne, VIC, Australia)

How did I loose to my opponent?

I had better techniques than him My men was powerful, fast and straight, my posture was straight with pressure on my left thigh, the center was always mine, my timing was good, my fumikomi and footwork wasn't as good due to exhaustion from the previous matches but still it shouldn't have affected the result that much.

I played my shiai following kendo philosophy to the most of my ability. I did not block instead I respond to the feelings of each of my opponents attach with one of my own. I did not distort my form nor tilt my head to evade. I never backed off unnecessary only once during all my shiais to regain my composure. I seme with everything I had. I adjusted my strategy accordingly to match his blocks.

Everything was so much more refined than him. So how did he win?? Was it because he blocked?? Was it because he performed head tilt?? Was it because he was more desperate and sacrificed his own kendo in order to win??? Is this it?? Is this the limit to keiko kendo in Shiai??

Can keiko kendo not defeat shiai kendo at its own game?? Or is it just my own incompetent?? It's too vexing. This is one defeat that I can't accept.

Answer: Thanks for your question. Since I did not see you fight, I do not know if you fought as described here. Since I do not know you, I cannot say why you did not win. So I will tell
you what I always tell my students.

If you are really strong, you will win.

In shiai, there are many things happen to the competitors and referees. There are always mistakes. But if you are really strong, no one can misjudge your strikes.

Of course, you should learn how to fight in shiai because it is not you how decide whose strikes are valid. It is the referees. You should always execute your strikes where the referees can see them. And there are rules like jōgai (penalty for stepping out of the shiai area).

There are times that you lose by misjudges too. You have two choices. You blame referees or yourself who created the situation where the referees thought you got hit.

Hitting a target is one, but before you executing a strike is important too. If your opponent sets you up, then you execute a strike, it is likely that the referees misjudge. Of course, it depends on the level of the referees as well. But if you execute your strike, without knowing that you are set up, then it is not a 100% referees fault.

It is easy to blame other people for your loss. But like I said, if you are truly strong, you will win.

If you believe that your kendō is good, keep it up and win a tournament. Prove that your kendō is the strongest. Whinging and blaming others are simply wasting your time and you cannot improve as a real kendoist.

Accept the loss and think about how your keiko kendō can win.

Hope this helps.

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