Nicole: My personal reflection on the Rembuden Taikai 2015

My personal reflection on the Rembuden Taikai:

First, let's celebrate the success our team has brought us. Congratulations to Kai Yoshitani, who brought home a gold medal for Men's senior Dan open and Jordan Te Wharau who placed at second in the Men's junior Dan competition. They both fought really hard against the odds and went a long way to achieve the success. Even though Awatea Yi-Williams and Kevin Peng didn't get to advance into the final, for every shiai they fought, they showed full commitment in every seme and every cuts. They showed us not to faltered when you are at a disadvantage, keep calm and remember the Kendo sensei has taught us. Senpai has set a really good example for us junior in the future.

As for the junior member of the teams - Leon, Joseph Cao, Felix Chu, Anthony, and Spyke Lawrey, you guys did awesome considering this is our first convoy to fought outside in a national level competition. This competition was hard battle for team as we are at an unfamiliar ground and there are so many different types of Kendo practitioners out there. Leon and Felix made it to the best 8 of the Men’s Kyu grade open; the rest was able to score against their toughest opponents. In the competitive nature of Shiai, every battle can turn out ugly. Our boys fought with pride with the Kendo we love best – the Kendo taught by our beloved Sam Sensei and Marleen Sensei.

The result didn’t matter in the end. We had a good time together as a family. For weeks we trained hard for the competition, we have Sensei who showed us the right paths. With good advice and guidance in every training session, we have Senpai to guide us from going astray. We had each other at every stages of our Kendo journey whether being a training partner to each other who horned our skills or supporter who assist during in the competitions.

Thank you so much to David Zheng who sacrificed his time to transport the team’s gear and some of us home. Thank you so much for Jing Luo and Catherine Ma who record visual record for every shiai our team is in and make sure everyone is getting fed.

I love Waikato Kendo Club.

Yours truly,