November 22, 2006
November 21, 2006
There were approximately 130+ competitors at the 2006 SEUSKF Tournament, hosted by Triangle Kendo Club in Chapel Hill, NC this past weekend. It may have been one of the biggest SEUSKF tournaments in recent memory. Every year, it seems to get bigger and bigger as more people take up kendo throughout the southeast.
For most of the Memphis contingency, it was their first tournament.
I think it was an overall good experience for everyone. For some, it was their first time doing kendo with someone outside of our own dojo. For others, it was only the second time.
In the individual divisions, we unfortunately did not have anyone place. Since Yasuda-san and I were tied up as shinpan in other rings, some of the details of individual performances are lacking (for now). The youth divisions, as well as the 1.dan-2.dan division, had more participants than I can remember in years past. Some of the details I can recall for the time being:
William Thornton-Leonard actually won two of his matches in the 1st round/round robin but for some odd reason was not advanced to the 2nd round. (Still not sure why that happened).
Yasuda-san, competing in the 3.dan+ division, had arguably the toughest draw of any competitor in the entire tournament. For the first round/round robin, he drew 5.dan Hyun-sensei (TMG) and 4.dan Yoshida-sensei (TKI). Yoshida-sensei wound up advancing to the quarter-finals before losing to Tanaka-sensei (4.dan?, GKA), who went on to finish in 2nd place in the division. For myself, I drew Kim-san (3.dan, GKA) and Imai-sensei (5.dan, TMG), the latter of which placed 1st in the division. I'm looking forward to this Wednesday's class to try and piece together how everyone did in the individual competition.
The level/quality of competition was quite fierce this year and the future of SEUSKF kendo looks good with younger and stronger players emerging and developing.
In the team competition, the Memphis A team tied for 3rd place (out of 19 teams). This was the first time in the club's history that a team has placed in the SEUSKF tournament.
Memphis A consisted of:
Senpo - An Giang (3.dan)
Jiho - Walter White (1.dan)
Chuken - Don Crittenden (2.dan)
Fukusho - Rogers Gossett (3.dan)
Taisho - Kazuto Yasuda (3.dan)
En route to the 3rd place finish, the Memphis team lost to a very strong team from Georgia Kendo Alliance (GKA) which eventually went on to win the team division.
The Memphis B team had a tough road to climb from the onset. This was the first tournament for every member of the team. Unfortunately, since the A team was competing at the same time, I don't recall who the B team faced. I do remember some details, and some were provided after the fact.
Senpo Rowan Troyer (unranked, 9 yrs old, all of 4 ft tall) fought his match to a stalemate, which in team competition can be as good as a win.
Jiho Conrad Delancey (4.kyu, 12 yrs old, all of 4.5 ft tall) lost his match by only one point to a player more than twice his height and almost twice his age.
I know that Dach-sensei is very very happy with the results of both teams and is sorry that he missed out on the trip!!
Final tournament results for each division will be posted as soon as possible.
Without question, the strongest contingency for this year's tournament came from GKA.
Arai-sensei (6.dan) informed me that they have up to 80 regular students now, with some very strong 3.dan and 4.dan players. There is also a 1.dan player from GKA who is showing some strong development in using jodan. I can't recall his name, but we will all be seeing him again in the future --- he'll be someone to watch out for!
Congratulations to everyone who passed his test:
Rowan Troyer - 6.kyu
William Thornton-Leonard - 4.kyu
Conrad Delancey - 3.kyu
Billy Delancey - 1.kyu
Adam Wilson - 1.kyu
Ester Lim - 3. kyu
Larry Runnels - 1.kyu
Nick Runnels - 5.kyu
Corbin Runnels - 5.kyu
Walter White - 2.dan
(Sorry if I have forgotten anyone's name here)..
REMEMBER: There WILL be class THIS Wednesday (the day before T'giving). Class will be pretty light, with some discussion on everyone's tournament experience.