17 – 20 September, in Prague it was eighteenth annual tournament on Toru Giga cup. 150 people from 14 countries of the world was taking part in the seminar and tournament. The Head of the seminar and the main judge of tournament ,honor, Hiroshi Ozawa has been appointed, who has 7th dan kendo now, and senseis from Japan and Europe also attended (5 -7 dans).
The seminar and tournament had been organized at high level: a great and spacious hall with a luxurious wood coating, equipped by extracts (It is very important part during a hot weather), which allowed to provide long training easily, despite the huge quantity of participants. Also organizers took care about comfortable accommodation of participants,for whom a hostel was granted, and it had been not far from place of being the seminar. By the way, senseis and participants of the tournament were staying there, thus allowed to expand communication, not limiting to just outside the hall.
Participants were divided into three groups: the level of KYU, the first-second dans, the third and above. Each set of training traditionally was begining from kata (1 hour), the next is trainings on the various kind of wadza, dzigeyko, and finally kakarigeyko. Hiroshi Ozawa has noted repeatedly not only correctly execution of various techniques, as part of preparation, but and also the necessity for 100% dedication to each stroke and every movement, not independing from, if you are striking blow or you accept it. Both opponent must show genuine courage and provide constant pressure to each other, expressed in the struggle for the “center”, and the psychological position before, during and after the impact, (It is Kiai). Another approach would be disrespectful to the opponent, friends, sensei, that already unacceptable in fact! Also sensei gave his attention to etiquette and rules of behaviour being in dodzyo a lot of time, and also as regards participants’ appearance, and their posture. In my opinion, it was a major problem, taking into consideration that, many quantity of times Hiroshi Ozawa was straightening stooped backs, was making fulfil position in Seidza correctly, smoothing the folds on hakama, was making to short men-himo, marking down a correct rei to opponent, judges, Sensei, and working off under sunko. All this had regarded not only to beginners, but also in relation to owners of dans.
The tournament on Toru Giga cup was as finishing day of the seminar, which provided according to European Kendo Federation’s order, and namely: bouts in the pools with taking part of three persons (3 minutes continuing), from which 2 persons shoud go out. In case of equality of victories ippons were taken in the calculation, but in case of ippons’ equality, it was spending an additional rounds untill one of the fighters will earn one ippon (Shobu Ippon). The next, tournaments on exclusion were for five minutes and encho, if the winner wasn’t identified in certain time. According to results of tournament, Hungarian kendoist Gasparini won. I would like to notice his aggressive style of battle, the constant pressure, focusing only on attack and protection, in generally only by a counterattack.
It may not say that I heard something new during the period of the seminar, we have heard it all from our sensei repeatedly and because we have everything to achieve a result, and we need only discipline, attention, dedication and victory in the tournament will be the law, but I hope that is not by end in itself.