by Kristopher Inting
photo credits: Angelo Ampil and Shinmei Sugawara
video credits: Koji Igarashi, Kristopher Inting and Erika Simbulan
The 3rd Annual IGA-Ken Gasshuku (Training Camp) was held last Nov 30 – Dec 1 in the Golden Panda Dormtel in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. This is a yearly event which gathers together kendoka from the two IGA-Ken Dojo, Arena and Dasma, and from the affiliate dojo of the University of the Philippines Kendo Club (UP Kendo Club).
Day 1 started with a blast, as everyone undertook Koji Igarashi-Sensei’s 1000 suburi challenge. The actual number wound up being around 1300, but all the members persevered and the challenge was completed. The morning then continued with kihon hitting practice, and concluded with a special shiai demonstration. Our special guest for the day, Mr. Jo Tamesis (who was covering the event for PTV4), got the chance to compete against the daughter-mother team of Pietra and Andrea Diassorze.
The afternoon started with a seminar on shiai (tournament) etiquette, rules and regulations, in order to prepare the members for the actual shiai on Day 2. Then more kihon hitting practice, and finally a grueling one-hour of continuous uchikomi-geiko and jigeiko ended the day.
Day 2 started with kata practice. Then more kihon hitting and finally more jigeiko to end the morning. All this in preparation for the shiai.
The IGA-Ken Year-End Shiai started with the Kihon-Nobu Competition. Selected beginners competed in two five man teams. In the end, it was the team of Mark Chua, April Enerio, Josh Dayao, Wely Sabalilag and Von Cunanan who got the prize, winning 3-2.
Next competition was the Mudansha Division. Unlike in previous year-end shiai, this time both dojo were well represented. And it showed, as the winners of brackets A and F were Angelo Ampil and Marc Yaptinchay, both members of Dasma. Brackets B, C, D and E were won by Joshua Espiritu, Ain Cabonce, Lyndon Nolasco and Gek Cagatan, representing Arena. Ain bested Lyndon, and Marc triumphed over Gek, setting up two Arena vs Dasma semi-final matches. Angelo impressed by scoring a do-uchi on Joshua, before finally succumbing to two men-uchi. Ain handily won over Marc by a kote and men-uchi, thus setting up an all-Arena Finals. It was a dramatic Final Match too, as Ain drew first blood on a kote-uchi. But Joshua rallied and took the match on two men-uchi. In the final tally, Angelo got 3rd place, Ah Yin 2nd, and Joshua was the mudansha champion.
The 3rd competition of the day was the “Secret Shiai”. Here, non-bogu or new in bogu members were treated to their very first shiai experience. To say that most of them were shocked was an understatement, and the senior members took the moment to enjoy their kohai’s reactions. They were divided into two teams, being Team Arena vs Team Dasma. In the end, it was Team Dasma who won, composed of John Michael James, Mark Chua, Allan Lim, Nonomi Yamashita, Pietra Diassorze, Andrea Diassorze, Mhark Lizardo, and Angelo Ampil.
The last competiton of the day was the much anticipated Yudansha Matches. Here, the participating yudansha were divided into two teams. Team Sugawara was composed of Jomar Romero, Loida Estanilla-Inting, Alain Duminy and Shinmei Sugawara. Team Nakagane was composed of Ricky Daniel Reyes, Lex Busto, Fort Liu and Nakagane Ryosuke. Senpo match was close but was won by Ricky over Jomar by one point. In the Chuken match, Lex gamely tried her best against her mentor Loida, but lost by two points. Most surprising match was the Fukusho match, as Fort managed to force a 1-1 draw on Alain. And finally the much anticipated Taisho match between Shinmei and Nakagane-San started. Nakagane-San opted to fight using jodan, and using this to his advantage scored the initial point. Rallying back however, Shinmei forced the hikiwake on a hiki-do. With a tied team score (1 win each), it came down to total ippon made, and Team Sugawara won 4-3.
After the awarding ceremonies, the day ended with the final jigeiko. Then everyone packed up, some going to the after party, some going home to prepare for the week, but all feeling wonderful about this very successful 3rd installment of the Gasshuku. Here is looking forward to the fourth one next year!
Photos of the event can be accessed by clicking on the following link: