Tuesday, December 4, 2007

There's no 'I' in team.

BumB arena.

And it was at the Wing Cup, held this past December 2nd, that demonstrated this to the fullest. Held at the BumB (boom-bu) Sports Facility, it was essentially a day-long team kumite event.

The BumB was a great facility to hold this event, the very well maintained gym holding 6 rings although, with seating only on two sides of the gym and folded up basketball nets, it took a bit of shifting about to get a good view or picture. A good zoom helped, too.

At least there was no lack of fights though. The Wing Cup, open to elementary and junior high students, determines the winner of each division using a round-robin format. After having fought every other team, the teams with the best record compete again for top honours. What I liked about this was that all the competitors got lots of chances to fight and each match ran the entire roster of 3 or 5 fighters, since win statistics are used in case of a draw. It also made the tournament rather easy to watch as each division took one ring for the entire duration, so it was easy to cheer for your team without losing track of where they went.

As for competitors, there were some rather large dojos represented, so some divisions had up to 5 teams competing. Some were also very strong perhaps because, as some suggested, their training focuses mainly on kumite. Regardless, the competition was fierce and even the inclusion of some obvious ringers on certain teams didn't faze them.

A pic from another dojo website of another team, but this gives a good idea of the event.
Shiramizu fielded 4 teams- Elementary 1st-2nd year, Elementary 3rd-4th year, Elementary 5th-6th year, and a junior high school team. Amidst the tough (and sometimes tear-inducing) fights, the Elementary 1st-2nd year team took home 3rd and the Elementary 3rd-4th year were rewarded 4th place for their effort.
The best part of the day was just the sheer amount of kumite to watch. As I wrote above before, translating what I know in training into the ring is difficult and so being able to watch what works and what doesn't helps me to refine the concepts to train with. That and the fact that team kumite is always exciting to watch.

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