The 65th All Japan Kendo Championships
Friday November 3, 2017
Photos and Facebook Text Updates – Quarterfinals
Hayashida (Fukui) vs. Sasagawa (Saga)
Right of the bat Sasagawa attempts men but Hayashida scores kote! The first attack.
Hayashida is a teacher and Sasagawa is a policeman.
Hayashida is training hard for the Kokutai in his home prefecture next year, so to make it this far is good for him.
Sasagawa has been around for a number of years but he has never really made far in big tournaments.
Sasagawa looked like he wasn’t ready when he stood up, but Hayashida was while in sonkyo, hence able to score so quickly.
At this stage, there’s not much difference between the level of the competitors. It’s about who can keep there concentration.
Hayashida scores men. He had kept the pressure on since the first ippon and made Sasagawa do things he didn’t want to. You need to keep the aggression up even after the first ippon.
Maeda (Osaka) vs. Uchimura (Tokyo)
Osaka police vs. Tokyo police. A grudge match if ever there was one.
Maeda went to Osaka from Kanoya Uni. A very strong uni.
Maeda has very quick eyes and physical speed to compliment that.
Uchimura will be looking for the slightest movement in Maeda’s kensen so that he can go for kote.
Uchimura had a good attack at men. Now Maeda will be concerned about men, not just kote. That could create an opening.
Uchimura has great defence – he’s hard to hit.
A close kote for Uchimura.
So far the match has been 50/50 – no clear advantage for either.
Maeda has to control the urge to attack and not let Uchimura influence him.
Maeda went in for tsuki but changed to men by turning the wrists and scored.
Maeda can’t defend for a long time. That will mean he has to raise his hands – something that Uchimura wants.
The onus is on Uchimura to attack. Maeda must keep applying seme and not defend. That’s the only way to stop Uchimura.
Maeda stepped back a fraction and Uchimura scored kote.
Maeda panicked again and Uchimura scored another kote to win.
Uchimura can make his opponent raise his hands. Just a slight movement is all he needs. He has complete control.
Nishimura (Kumamoto) vs. Yamamoto (Hiroshima)
Both are police officers and know each other well.
It looks like both are still in their first round mode, meaning that they are defending a lot rather than applying pressure.
Nishimura has a great men and should use it. However, he scores a great kote, and then another right after the restart!
Sanada (Tottori) vs. Hatakenaka (Tokyo)
Hatakenaka is fighting the student Sanada. He should be able to do well as he has the greater experience.
However, Sanada is a great competitor and is very wily so he could go all the way.
If Hatakenaka doesn’t commit fully, Sanada can punish him as he has great athletic ability.
The AJKC is the only title that Hatakenaka doesn’t have. He really wants this.
Hatakenaka hasn’t really got his maai right yet today. Many of his attacks have been nuki-waza or oji-waza and hasn’t been making fully committed off-the-mark attacks.
This is not really Hatakenaka’s style of kendo. He hasn’t found his stride. He’s holding back somehow. He’s attacking, but stopping and moving back.
The match moves to encho.
Sanada is fighting his own style more freely than Hatakenaka is able to. He has nothing to lose.
Hatakenaka is likely getting frustrated so must not rush in.
Hatakenaka should be now be able to outlast Sanada with his experience and concentration.
Hatakenaka is still not making strikes with full conviction.
Hatakenaka is not connecting his seme to his waza.
He gets them together and scores ai-men.
He won, but it was not his best by any stretch.