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VKA 1st Victorian State Taikai 2023

At 12pm on Sunday 10th September, 33 members plus spectators from three different clubs gathered together at the North Melbourne Recreation Centre to participate in the Victorian Kyudo Association 1st Victorian State Kyudo Taikai. By a fortuitous coincidence, the particular date the Taikai was held on is officially known as "Kyudo Day" (弓道の日). It also happened to be the day the AFLW* was having a big home game at the same venue - which had us a bit worried about interference at first and caused some logistical issues with parking, but with the stadium surrounded by giant glass windows it turned out to be an excellent opportunity to showcase some of Victoria’s best Kyudo to a surprisingly interested crowd of footy fans.

Image © 2023 Calista Wu. All rights reserved and unless otherwise noted, may not be copied, downloaded, blogged, distributed, or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of owner, Calista Wu.


We kicked off the Taikai with nine teams of three competing in the teams preliminary round. Teams were organised in order of earliest registration, with competitors having negotiated their own team when registering for the Taikai (some spicy last minute member swaps included).


For the teams round we used the format of two teams of three, 6 archers total in the shajo at a time with Taikai timing (following competitor can start torikake at the previous person’s uchiokoshi as long as they do not release their arrow before the person in front) and from zasha. With such an excellently large venue as well as the combined equipment of Odoguma Kyudo Melbourne (OKM) and Melbourne Kyudo Kai (MKK), we were incredibly fortunate to have the space and setup to conduct the Taikai at a full 28m including ample space for Taihai. As none of the Victorian clubs have previously had access to a regular venue that enables this, it was also a valuable opportunity for our members to get some practice at full range, especially for some of our mudan members for whom it was their first time.


The Taikai was held in full compliance with the All Nippon Kyudo Federation Kyogi Kisoku (competition rules), including enforcement of a time limit of seven minutes and thirty seconds on the teams rounds. This was an interesting way to put a bit of pressure on our competitors but luckily everyone kept their cool and only one unfortunate team got cut off by the bell. After all 9 teams competed in the preliminaries, our 4 top scoring teams then progressed to the Finals round.


While the fresh mudan Team F (Tim, Luke, and Ray of OKM) performed admirably to make the finals, they weren't able to repeat their prelim performance and placed fourth. Team E (Da and Kris of OKM and Lee of SKK) (yes, you did read that correctly) put in a solid attempt but were one hit short of the next two teams and took third place. Then with a tied score of 4 hits each, Team D (Ian and Rina of OKM and Diego of MKK) and Team I (Kaoru, Jack, and Miyuki of MKK) headed to a tiebreaker round.


The tiebreaker round for the teams competition was conducted as “Ippon-Kyosha” - each team member shoots one arrow each, and the highest scoring team overall wins. Although Team D put in a valiant effort with one hit, Team I took victory in the Teams match with 2 out of 3 team members scoring a hit in the mato.

Image © 2023 Jasmin Munera. All rights reserved and unless otherwise noted, may not be copied, downloaded, blogged, distributed, or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of owner, Jasmin Munera.


After a quick break to switch the shajo configuration, we moved to the individuals preliminary round. The individuals round was conducted in tachi of 5, with the 27 competitors ordered by Dan grade. Competitors shot 4 arrows each, and the top scorers (11 total) progressed to the finals round, where they shot another 4 arrows.


The result of the finals round was a three-way tie between Jack and Diego of MKK and Da of OKM.


The tiebreaker round for the individuals round was conducted as “Izume” - each person shoots one arrow each with the highest score winning, or shooting again in the case of a tie. Diego missed and took third place, while Da and Jack both scored a hit and progressed to a second round. Jack was reportedly feeling a bit tired at this point, having shot the most arrows out of anyone present and making it to his third tiebreaker of the day, but pulled through to hit again and win victory in the individuals match as well.


The event closed with furoshiki prizes given to the winners of the day, and tokens of appreciation in the form of tekichu notebooks to the volunteer staff and tea for the Taikai committee were passed out. There was an additional free hour at the conclusion of the taikai that was spent for some freeshooting practice, the space was illuminated by the setting sun in the background.


Of course the day couldn’t have gone ahead without a team of excellent volunteers, some of which are also competitors, and the VKA Committee would like to give thanks to the following members for their contributions to the day’s success:

  • Taikai Committee: Calista Wu (OKM), Da Fang (OKM), Diego Leiva (MKK), James Kwok (MKK), Miyuki Chiba (MKK), Rachel Fisher (OKM)

  • Volunteer Staff: Hannah Xu (OKM), Jamie Bilson (MKK), Joyce Li (OKM), Ken Phung (MKK), Kris He (OKM), Leona Huang (MKK), Matthew Collins (MKK), Peiyi Wang (OKM)

  • Special thanks to Eric Chau for volunteering to be the Referee on the day

Image © 2023 Jasmin Munera. All rights reserved and unless otherwise noted, may not be copied, downloaded, blogged, distributed, or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of owner, Jasmin Munera.


We thank everyone for coming to participate in Victoria's first state-wide Taikai, and hope to hold more in the future!

Images © 2023 Da Fang. All rights reserved and unless otherwise noted, may not be copied, downloaded, blogged, distributed, or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of owner, Da Fang.


Footnotes

*AFLW - AFL Women's is Australia's national semi-professional Australian rules football league for female players.

 

Results Summary: Victorian Kyudo Association 1st Victorian State Kyudo Taikai

10th September 2023


Team category winners and top three individual category winners. Image © 2023 Jasmin Munera. All rights reserved and unless otherwise noted, may not be copied, downloaded, blogged, distributed, or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of owner, Jasmin Munera.




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