So last week was FULL of Martial arts events. Went to a Highschool Judo competition last weekend, the world Kendo championships during the week, and another Judo competition at the Kodokan yesterday. Being a Martial artist in Japan is amazing because, there is opportunity EVERYWHERE to learn or watch martial arts!
If anybody is curious, there are TWO competitions coming up at the kodokan (Judo):
June 11th: Tsukinami-shiai (Monthly Contest for up to 1st dan)
June 18th: Tsukinami-shiai (Monthly Contest for 2nd dan and higher/Women)
I really enjoy going to the Budokan. they have this large plaque on the wall which describes the experience of training there:
|ARTICLE 1：OBJECTIVE OF
Through physical and mental training in the Japanese martial ways,exponents seek to build their character, enhance their sense of judgement, and become disciplined individuals capable of making contributions to society at large.
|ARTICLE 2：KEIKO (Training)
When training in , practitioners must always act with respect and courtesy, adhere to the prescribed fundamentals of the art, and resist the temptation to pursue mere technical skill rather than strive towards the perfect unity of mind, body, and technique.
|ARTICLE 3：SHIAI (Competition)
Whether competing in a match or doing set forms (kata), exponents must externalise the spirit underlying . They must do their best at all times, winning with modesty, accepting defeat gracefully, and constantly exhibiting self-control.
|ARTICLE 4：(Training Hall)
The is a special place for training the mind and body. In the , practitioners must maintain discipline, and show proper courtesies and respect.
The should be a quiet, clean, safe, and solemn environment.
Teachers of should always encourage others to also strive to better themselves and diligently train their minds and bodies, while continuing to further their understanding of the technical principles of . Teachers should not allow focus to be put on winning or losing in competition, or on technical ability alone. Above all, teachers have a responsibility to set an example as role models.
Persons promoting must maintain an open-minded and international perspective as they uphold traditional values. They should make efforts to contribute to research and teaching, and do their utmost to advance in every way.
As someone who practices martial arts, I sometimes lose sight of what the art is all about. So reminding myself with info like this is very important.
Now, I believe that martial arts practiced in the East differs incredibly from the West. In my experience, Martial arts in the west ( also taught by western instructors) seems to be much more aggressive and physical. As I’ve trained here in Japan, I’ve noticed how more spiritual martial arts is. Every time I got aggressive the instructor stopped me and told me to take a break. Im shocked at how different the teaching styles are. The same goes for competition. The two judo competitions I witnessed this week are very different from those I’ve witnessed in England or the United States. For one, competitions end much sooner. Now this doesn’t go for major championships, but smaller scale competitions. Another matter, there aren’t as many injuries. Now I don’t know if this is because the clubs in the west I visited were more aggressive, but this is just something I’ve noted. I can recall in England waiting for my turn to fight. I stretched my back and as I turned around I saw a huge group injured competitors. I have yet to see anything like that in Japan. Anyhow, these are just my opinions of the matter.
I went to the Mens championship of the World Kendo Championships. The yelling reminded me of a battle scene in star wars, with someone doing the occasional R2-D2 yell. The most interesting moment for me at this event was when the Korean men were fighting. A Polish man beat a Korean man and the crowd went wild. A Korean beat an American and some of the crowd Booed! The most intense moment was the Korean against the Japanese. The entire crowd was watching, and I’d never seen two Kendo competitors move so quickly. I was sucked into the moment as well, when suddenly, the Japanese man won. The crowd went crazy with applause. This experience was a real eye opener for me.
Anyway, here is a little photo dump of the entire week!