Official comment for this competition

Official comment for this competition

‘Even the family members of the players don’t understand kata games’, the general public doesn’t!

 To all those who are working hard to promote iaido throughout the country, regardless of style, we have finally returned to the pre-new Corona era of exchange with foreign countries. The social innovations that have taken place during this period have been remarkable, and I am sure that you have a sense of crisis that you cannot continue to do things the same way as in the past.
 Iaido is a martial art with a small population. I think that all schools and associations have a sense of crisis that they may not be able to pass it on to the next generation. Even if there is a sense of crisis, the general public will not understand if the tournament is a ‘kata-sho’ that even the players’ families do not understand. And even more so, if the competition is a power game where there is a discovery of the organisation and players to which they belong,
It can no longer be said that it is not a competition at all.

The Open Tournament competition is now in its eighth year!

 Therefore, the International Iaido Federation Pengyokai, which is the licensed successor to Mugei-ryu, one of the largest of the ancient schools and the largest national organisation of Mugei-ryu, has made use of its tournament knowledge and know-how to make the All-Japan tournament of Jiyu-kumi Tachi an open tournament. The tournament has been open to all schools of iaido since ancient times, and has finally reached its eighth edition.
 The tournament is a game of iaido, where you cut without being cut.” The International Iaido Federation full-contact iaido rules state that, “You cut without being cut”, but the competition, which is visible to all, allows people to compete beyond the boundaries of their own schools and organisations.
 Of course, the International Iaido Federation Pengyukai did not hesitate to open the doors of this competition to all schools and organisations. There is naturally a risk of technical leakage of the attack and defence techniques of Jiyu-gumi-tachi, which we have nurtured so carefully and which is based on our Mugei-ryu. For the contestants, there is a risk that they will be thought of as “You usually talk a great game, but you were cut down and discarded in no time”.
There will also be a risk.

What is important is the possibility of passing on to the next generation and expanding dissemination activities

 What is more important, however, is the possibility of passing it on to the next generation and expanding dissemination activities.

 Full-contact karate is the most popular form of karate in the world today. How did full-contact karate become mainstream? I think it is because the late Oyama Baidatsu, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, who was at the centre of the movement, made the competitions open tournaments.
 By making it an open tournament, he opened the door to challenge and innovation, which led to constant improvement of techniques. As a result, the seeds have been planted all over the world. Nowadays, when we speak of ‘karate’ and ‘kumite’, we mean full-contact karate and kumite all over the world.
 There is no doubt that Kyokushin Karate opened the door to competitions as open tournaments, and this was the main reason for the current prosperity of karate.

Let’s welcome 500 spectators and make it an inspiring convention!

 We too have opened our doors and are ready to look to the future beyond the schools and associations. Let’s realise an inspiring tournament that reflects the ideal that “in order to pass on iaido to the next generation, we need to brush up our tradition through the exchange of techniques” through competition.

 From the 8th edition, the venue will be moved to the Sumida Ward General Gymnasium with its own arena. This is a wonderful facility that can welcome up to 500 spectators. Let’s realise the miracle that has never happened in iaido before, with a full house cheering on the players. Already, travel agencies with which we have inbound relationships are showing this martial arts festival to their overseas customers, and competition for seats has begun.

The future of iai, which feels like “this is what iai is all about.”

 For the Hogyokukai of the Mugai-ryu, whose predecessor was Captain Saito Hajime of the Shinsengumi’s Third Squadron, this is one of the tracks that follow the 155th anniversary of the end of the Hakodate War.
 If the foundation of budo is ‘strength’, then the life of iai should be ‘kumitachi’ and ‘test cutting’.
 There is a business term for what has become the de facto standard: ‘de facto standard’. Ten years from now, I am sure that the public will feel that this kumitachi is the de facto standard of iai, the de facto standard, and that this is what iai is all about.
 We welcome all schools and associations that share this ideal to participate in the 8th All Japan Iaido Jiyu Kumitachi Championships.

March 6, 2012

President of the 8th All Japan Iaido Jiyu-Kumitachi championship
Takeda Hogyoku OSS, President of the International Iaido Organization Hogyokukai

Chairman of the Committee Tomohiro Tanaka
Advisor to the Ad Hoc Committee Hino Kiho/Yasumura Ohgyoku