Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spokane Kendo Camp 2010 pt. 2 - War!!

Some shots of the dojo we had for the weekend.

Well I covered a bit of the training that we had during camp, and the overall message of keeping a connection with our partner. Sensei also explained how this permeated everything that we did, and that we also practiced keeping connections with the group/team as a whole. We hung out together this weekend. We ate together. Slept as a group together. And played together.

Sunday morning, after breakfast, we all gathered up for a game of War...well, everyone with bogu, that is. If you don't know what War is, let me explain real quick. War is a game that we play in teams or as a free-for-all. We tie balloons to various valid strike points on our bogu, and the object is to pop everyone else's balloons. Doing so will make them "dead" and they are out of the game. The winner is the one left standing with balloons at the end. They then get beat up by everyone else that played the game until their balloons are gone, as well.

We had eight people that joined in the game, so we started with a 4 vs. 4 team match, and then a free-for-all for the winning team. Our team consisted of Dan, Matt, Mark, and myself (red team), against Andy, Rik, Marek, and Makayla (yellow team).

Some free time before the game started

Sensei explaining the rules and boundaries

The teams discussing strategies

Game on!!

Our team strategy was to use the buddy system, and Matt and I quickly paired up to fight Rik and Andy while Dan and Mark took on Marek and Makayla. I fought hard against Andy, finally taking all of his balloons, and then ran over to help Matt take out Rik.

Matt and I dispatched Rik, last year's free-for-all champion, and went to join Dan and Mark, who were still fighting against their opponents. With us it made the fight 4 on 2. We all worked together to take out Marek, which left Makayla as our last opponent.

We took Makayla down together, but not before she popped one of my balloons! She fought really hard, but in the end numbers overcame her. At this time the game became free-for-all, last man standing. I quickly turned on Matt and popped his last balloon to put him out of the game, leaving the game with Mark, Dan, and myself.

After a lot of feinting and striking, we all found ourselves down to one balloon each; our Do balloons. Sensei had us all switch to Jodan at this point to finish out the match.

I fought both of my opponents and Dan and I were finally able to take Mark's last balloon, leaving the game between the two of us, both still in Jodan.

I fought bravely and fiercely, but in the end Dan's technique overcame me, and he took my last balloon. His prize? Being mobbed by everyone that "died" before, until his balloon finally popped.

We all had a great time, and I think I did pretty well for my very first game of War. Our team won, and I took second in the free-for-all. I hope that next year we can get some more people in on the game, and I'll definitely be gunning for Dan!

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