We just finished another Mumeishi 3s Taikai. This year’s event was held with slightly mixed emotions its founder and driving force, Terry Holt sensei was unable to attend as he is undergoing tests in hospital.
It was never in doubt that the taikai would go-on with or without Holt sensei attending, as so many people look forward to this annual event. Thanks to the efforts of the Mumeishi members guided by Emiko Yoshikawa and Paul Budden sensei’s organising skills as Tournament Director, the competition ran like clockwork. My own contribution as shinpan-cho was greatly assisted by the two shinpan shunin Michel Guentleur from France and Chris Maes from Belgium.
Although a friendly family event, it is not easy to manage as in effect, there are three competitions run on the same day. In addition to a mixed grade, 3 person team competition, there are ladies’ individual matches and 4 separate age categories for children; the youngest being judged on hantei and the older groups performing sanbon shobu.
With competitors from a wide range of ages and technical abilities, and a register-on-the day policy for the kids, there are always a few surprises, but we always seems to glide swanlike to a successful conclusion in line with the planned finishing time. It is interesting that a loosely connected group of amateur enthusiasts who rarely work together can instantly turn into a high performing team. The obvious conclusion is that we all love what we are doing.
The second part of the event is much simpler- we have a monster 2 hour godo-geiko on Sunday morning which people are free to join or leave as and when they wish, to fit in with hangovers or travel schedules. As a motodachi without a plane to catch, my own keiko invariably runs for the whole two hours. I am sure that I will feel the effects tomorrow, but it will be well worth it. It’s always good to have a chance to practice with new people or those that you rarely meet, and with competitors from Belgium, Denmark, France, Russia, Israel, Ireland plus friends from other parts of the UK; it was an interesting session.
Of course there is a lot to look forward to next year, both with domestic and international kendo and I am hoping to take part in a number of events, however I am already looking forward to next year’s Mumeishi 3s, hopefully with Holt sensei back in charge.