Thursday, 16 April 2015

Not representing Kumamoto-Ken

Competition is to test oneself. Winning is irrelevant.
 While I won the Kumamoto Prefecture title, in the men’s individual kata, I have decided to not compete for Kumamoto at the JKA All Japan’s at the end of June.

There are several reasons for this, but the prime is that I cannot justify dedicating "all of my practice to kata" between now and then; and hence, I’d be doing JKA Kumamoto an injustice. Secondly and connected to this, only one person can enter the individual kata at the JKA All Japan’s (for Kumamoto Prefecture); thus, if I enter I will be taking away a ‘Kumamoto no senshu’ from being able to represent their province. To me, even though I won, this is simply not right.

My purpose for entering—“to test myself”: Lastly, my purpose in entering this year’s JKA Kumamoto Prefecture Championships was never to win but, rather, to simply test my karate. To win or not win the title is never my concern. Of course, it is great to win in Japan, due to the technical standards: but that is nothing more than a bonus. My karate is not, and has never been, for tournaments. While I will certainly compete again to test out my skills—and fully respect those dedicated to ‘Budo karate competition’, I’ll only enter so when it doesn’t interfere with my overall Karate-Do objectives.

So who will represent Kumamoto at the All Japan Championships? Well, while I win the gold medal,  this years `Jun Yusho' (and several years undefeated prefecture kata champion)—Kishigami Kazuto San—will now be going. I wish him the very best of luck in his kata reparations for the 58th JKA All Japan Karate-Do Championships. Osu, André.
© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2015).

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