Ever wondered what it looks like when one of the world's most successful Kendo competitors sits a high-level grading? Do they change their Kendo? Or does it remain the same? Does their fame affect the outcome?
Well, let's have a look at an example! Here is a video from the legendary Ryouchi Uchimura's successful attempt at 7th Dan:
A quick look at the comments on this video shows that viewers seem to be split on their opinions regarding his performance. One person notes 'Still tournament style', whilst another writes 'He would have failed if he wasn't so famous'. In any case, Uchimura Sensei makes some clear and decisive strikes in this grading.
What do you think?
What do you think?
Video from - 正念塾MACHIDA
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The majority of the folks writing their comments have no foundation for their comments. Its pretty hilarious. If you think that’s shiai style please get your eyes checked. Also; I trust the opinion of 7d and 8d to make a better choice than rando’s on the internet.
I fundamentally disagree with one of the comments. “Still tournament style”? Whoever wrote this did it out of spite, and not truthfulness. Every one of Uchimura sensei’s attacks were 100% committed physically and mentally – the opposite of what happens in shiai, where attacks are stopped short if they’re unsuccessful.
I’ve never been a fan of Uchimura sensei’s attacks in shiai. But my hair always stands when he does his kiai, and I admire his poise and unwavering composure: he never shows defeat or surprise, even when his opponent scores a point the referees were wrong about. That guy has class.
I assume Uchimura Sensei is the shorter of the two ? In which case I see no real issue considering my limited perspective from 3rd Dan. Aside from one moment of perhaps “not quite enough Zanshin” when his has are raised after the strike but he has turned rather close to his opponent. The strikes themselves looked pretty desicive and really quite crisp with really strong spirit. He seemed to have control of the tachi ai for something like 95% of the time as well. The fact that he did that against an opponent of similar level and delivered a couple of good clean ippon with the qualities mentioned above I would assume would earn anyone the grade 7th dan famous or not.