On Saturday February 7th at 11:45, quite a few Kendo Kai Den Haag kenshi gathered at the dojo to set off together to Amersfoort for ‘First a Fight, Then a Bite’ with Mokuseikan. The day started well as Sjoerd and Rapheal actually were on time for a change and the whole group could leave at the scheduled time.
Once we arrived we quickly put on our hakama and gi and of course put on our bogu as well. The beginners without bogu were hoisted into the clubbogu and additional Bogu Chretien brought along. After a brief explanation by Patrick (Mokuseikan) and the necessary formalities and warm up the two poules of beginners began their matches. Stan and Jasper fought well but unfortunately only Jasper advanced to the quarterfinals where he had to face Tristan. It was a beautiful match and although Jasper gave it his all Tristan prevailed and went on to the finals where he won first place. Jasper achieved a third place in his first ever shiai. The tournament was a great way for both Kendo Kai Den Haag kenshi to experience shiai for the first time.
In the other group of kenshi there were no fewer than six pools. We made use of a K&W factor. An ippon was worth less the higher ones grade is. For example, a Nidan who made an ippon got only 0.8 point, an ippon made by a 5th kyu was worth 2 points. This gave everyone a chance to fight his way to the knockout phase. The first two kenshi of the group went on anyway, the four best number threes also went through.
Everyone from Kendo Kai Den Haag and Mokuseikan fought for what they were worth. We saw great fights with sometimes very surprising results. After many shiai there were 16 men, or actually 15 men and one miss who went on to the knockout stage of the tournament. After completion, the quarter-finals were held followed by the semifinals where Rapheal took on Chrétien and Sjoerd took on Rogier (Mokuseikan). They were both very exciting shiai where eventually Rapheal and Sjoerd managed to defeat their opponents. The matches were close and they both only managed to make just one valid ippon on their opponent. They both progressed to the final round. Another exciting shiai, Rapheal took the lead but Sjoerd was able to even things out by also making an ippon. After a small delay the shiai started again and Rapheal scored a debana kote and thus claimed the first place during the first ever ‘First a Fight, Then a Bite’ event between Kendo Kai Den Haag and Mokuseikan.
During the presentation of the first prizes to Tristan and Rapheal the Fighting Spirit price winners were also announced.
In the beginners group Stefan from Mokuseikan was the much deserved winner.
In the other group, the Fighting Spirit prize went to Ghiven from Kendo Kai Den Haag.
This brought an end to the first part of the day and after having gone through the necessary formalities, the day continued in the All you can eat and drink restaurant. After a nice dinner we still had energy left to serenade Joris (KKDH), despite the fact that is was his birthday he was still present at the event. It was a very nice day with great fights, great food and a lot of new friends. For the majority of kenshi having to be a shinpan was a new and welcome experience. Mokuseikan, we’ll see you next year in The Hague for ‘First a Fight, then a Bite II’ .
Not pictured but present nonetheless were Grace, Joran and Suraya who couldn’t participate because they were injured. Thank you for joining in on the fun anyway and taking pictures the whole day.