Dutch Championship 2014 last Sunday….

Last Sunday the Dutch Championship 2014 took place.
As mentioned before I participated in this competition in nidan category.

In total I performed in 4 taikai from which 2 where in the knock out.
I didn’t reach the finals but that wasn’t really expected. Would have been nice…..but, I knew that it was gonna be very unlikely to happen.

Already the night before I noticed an unusually nervousness about participating in the championship. I knew it was about that incident that I cut myself during the Ishido-cup. But I didn’t want to recognize this fact. I even considered canceling and was seriously considering doing everything with my iaito, as to be save from cutting myself and on the other hand I stubbered with the idea that I might have a shot for the finals.
But, as things always have there own way of happening, I wanted to adjust some small things on the iaito (the tsuba was for some unexplainable reason bended and I wanted to straighten it out) and this resulted in two broken menuki and a split habaki.
That solved the issue on which sword to take.

So I was going to the competition with my shinken and while going through the kata I felt rather confident about it. All movements went smooth and strong when needed. But this was yet without an audience or judges and confidence wasn’t enough.
My concentration was introspective. My metsuke was weak. My technique was good.
Later, when the competition was over, two judges confirmed this to me in feedback. Both told me that my metsuke wasn’t strong enough and they couldn’t see where my opponent was. Also they both mentioned that it seemed to them that my concentration was turned inworth.  Why was my concentration introspective?
It all was due to what happened during the Ishido-cup last January when I cut my left hand while performing gan men ate.
I was afraid of the situation, afraid that it would happen again. Therefor I focussed on my technique and movements which concluded that my concentration went all to myself and the metsuke became weak.

There is no sorrow for how things happened. No disappointment and I am happy with participating in this competition.
Although I didn’t reach the finals, I did conquer my fear. That is a beautiful trophy to come home with……..

With thanks to Holland Jikiden Kan. http://www.hollandjikidenkan.nl/

Photo: thanks to Holland Jikiden Kan.