The 2016 annual Dojo Tournament was a fun filled event on the weekend, with many Junior and Senior Shiryodo members taking the opportunity to compete, win trophies and be in with a chance to become Grand Champion. In addition, it was a rare opportunity for participants to compete against their peers, while socializing and having some fun. Many competitors were first time participants, shaking off the nerves to gain experience and display their talents and newly acquired skills in a variety of events. Main events included Forms, Weapons Kata, Sumo Wrestling, Jumping Kick, Point & Continuous Sparring and Breaking.Â
There were a large number of participants competing in various Junior Forms events. With Junior divisions spanning from the under 7yrs to 14yrs, including all ranks, it gave the opportunity for all Junior aged participants to compete in a familiar and supportive environment. As the spot light turned to the floor, the Dojo became very quiet with anticipation. There were signs of uncertainty at times, but competitors displayed a vast amount of composure, to keep their calm in moments under pressure. Six Junior competitors placed first in their respective age/rank divisions, demonstrating a tremendous amount of poise to complete their Kata in exemplary fashion.
Following the Junior Forms were the Weapons Forms, which was an open event, seeing both Junior and Senior participants competing in the same division. Bo is the weapon currently being practiced by students, and competitors only 5 days earlier learned the last 15 moves of the Â Bo Kata. Shihan was very impressed that thoseÂ participating did so well, all managing to remember the entire form. Senpai Jude did an exceptionally good bo kata to take first place.
The bo form is very difficult, very impressive that all 4 of them could go through it once, then go home and watch the youtube video’s to get the whole thing in just a few days. Osu Shihan.
Senpai Sandy began the Senior Forms division with an advanced Kata demonstration; Kanku (which translates to â€œlooking into the skyâ€). Kanku includes an array of technically demanding movements, that are designed to control and or disarm someone with a stick. Senior competitors followed, continuing an exceptionally high skill standard. In a field of strong competitors, Adam achieved the highest score by executing Geksai Sho KataÂ flawlessly. All competitors exhibited remarkable skill and discipline in their performance.
At the conclusion of the Forms events, the Dojo atmosphere went from a state of calm, to thrilling and electrifying. Many spectators found their voices for the Sumo Wrestling event, which was only open to Juniors aged 10 yrs & under. The Dojo had spectators cheering and applauding, as each round provided more excitement than the last. Although there were noticeable physical size differences between competitors at times, it certainly didnâ€™t determine the outcome. Many of the competitors used cunning and inventive moves to gain points. Various techniques and strategies, such as using their opponentâ€™s momentum, assured every point was hard earned. Holly, Sam and Connor were able to hold off many determined competitors, to rein supreme. It was outstanding to see the degree of camaraderie and support the young competitors gave one another, many cheering and offering words of encouragement from the side lines.
The Jumping Kick event had everyone on the edge of their seats, as the youngsters attempted to hurdle the highest of heights. It was a close contest in both the 10yrs & under division and the 11-14yrs division, as all the competitors showed confidence and a great deal of enthusiasm. Rory jumped into first place, to win the 10yrs & under division and Senpai Connor reached phenomenal heights, as he leaped over the (nearly) impossible, to win the 11-14yrs division.
After the jumping kick event, Junior competitors padded up to compete in the sparring events. This was the first time some of the competitors were able to compete in these events, with a 6th Kyu ranking required to qualify. Each sparring round went for a duration of two minutes, meaning each sparring round was hotly contested. Once formal bowing came to an end, the action immediately began. The Junior Point Sparring event was full of surprises, with first time competitor, Isabelle, using her long reach to hold off Senpai Connor.
The Junior Female Continuous Sparring event was intense, as the desire to perform well was evident. Each competitor went hard and the emotions of the spectators began to run high. Violette was the youngest competitor in the event, and did well to challenge her older opponents. Violette fought well to earn a very deserved third place. The Junior Male Continuous Sparring events were a close affair. With signs of competitors beginning to fatigue as the day wore on, competitors dug deep to continue to execute effective techniques and not allow movements to become unproductive.
The Senior Female Point Sparring final came down to the wire, with both competitors tied at the end of the two minutes. A middle punch gaining Senpai Sandy the winning point and first place. Senpai Sandy also took first place in Senior Female Continuous Sparring, as she utilized various upper body techniques and combinations. Both competitors fought toe to toe, though Senpai Sandy had the stamina and experience to remain steady through to the final second.
Alan competed for the first time, to place third in the Senior Male Point Sparring. He didnâ€™t give anything away to the more experienced brown belts with a strong defensive position. Ultimately, Adam’s lightning fast pace couldn’t be matched on the day. In a nail biting final round in the Senior Male Continuous Sparring, Chris held his ground to hold off Adam in what was, a very close contest. With many combinations coming from in close techniques, the pressure lasted for the entire duration of the round.
The final event for the day was the Breaking, which saw competitors attempting to break their chosen number of wooden boards, with firstly their right hand and then their left hand. Competitors were awarded one point for each board which they had broken and deducted one point for any boards which remained intact. Competitors generally use either the fore-fist (Seiken) or hammer-fist (Tettsui) and less often, knife-hand (Shuto).
In the Junior division, Zoe leaped into the air, as she used a Tettsui hammer-fist to break a staggering four boards. Zoe has been training hard in her personal time to perfect her technique, which earned her first place. Carly achieved a personal best by breaking two boards with her left hand, to give her the point needed to take first place in the Senior Female division. And in another close encounter, Richard smashed his way into first place to achieve victory for Senior Male division.
Female/Male Brown/Black Belt (8-14yrs): 1st Place- Zoe 2nd Place- Senpai Connor 3rd Place- Senpai Jude
Female/Male Yellow/Green Belt (8-10yrs): 1st Place- Vijval 2nd Place- Sonny 3rd Place- Brodie
Female/Male Yellow/Green Belt (11-14yrs): 1st Place- Isabelle 2nd Place- Viabhar 3rd Place- Mia
Female/Male White/Blue Belt (8-14yrs): 1st Place- Josh 2nd Place- Joel 3rd Place- Rory
Female/Male Blue Belt & over (7yrs & under): 1st Place- James 2nd Place- Erin 3rd Place- Zara
Female/Male White/Orange Belt (7yrs & under): 1st Place- Josiah
Female/Male Weapons Kata (Open): 1st Place- Senpai Jude 2nd Place- Zoe 3rd Place- Brodie
Female/Male (4-5yrs): 1st Place- Holly 2nd Place- Harris 3rd Place- Quinn
Female/Male (6-7yrs): 1st Place- Sam 2nd Place- Ella 3rd Place- Erin
Female/Male (8-10yrs): 1st Place- Connor 2nd Place- Max 3rd Place- Rory
Female/Male (10yrs & Under): 1st Place- Rory 2nd Place- Cohen 3rd Place- Joel
Female/Male (11-14yrs): 1st Place- Senpai Connor 2nd Place- Noah 3rd Place- Daniel
Female/Male (11-14yrs): 1st Place- Isabelle 2nd Place- Senpai Connor 3rd Place- Noah
Female (Open): 1st Place- Isabelle 2nd Place- Zoe 3rd Place- Violette
Male (11-14yrs): 1st Place- Senpai Connor 2nd Place- Alexander 3rd Place- Daniel
Female/Male Brown/Black Belt: 1st Place- Zoe 2nd Place- Max
Female/Male Black Belt: 1st Place- Senpai Sandy
Female/Male Green/Brown Belt: 1st Place- Adam 2nd Place- Richard 3rd Place- Da
Female/Male White/Blue/Yellow Belt: 1st Place- Alan 2nd Place- Rachael 3rd Place- Kellie
Female: 1st Place- Senpai Sandy 2nd Place- Carly
Male: 1st Place- Adam 2nd Place-Richard 3rd Place- Alan
Female: 1st Place- Senpai Sandy 2nd Place- Carly
Male: 1st Place- Chris 2nd Place- Adam 3rd Place- Richard
Female: 1st Place- Carly 2nd Place- Senpai Sandy
Male: 1st Place- Richard 2nd Place- Adam
The following competitors were outstanding in their respective divisions and are the 2016 Grand Champions.
2016 Grand Champions
Junior Female: Isabelle
Junior Male: Senpai Connor
Senior Female: Senpai Sandy
Senior Male: Adam
Congratulations to everyone whom participated in the 2016 Shiryodo Dojo Tournament. All competitors showed an exceptional degree of spirit, skill and sportsmanship, making it a memorable day.