The First official Gekiken

As some people know, in the September of this year was set up All Czech Gekiken Federation, the first and only cross-school organization in the Czech Republic which promotes free fencing with a Japanese sword, the Gekiken. To celebrate our establishment, we hosted the First Gekiken Taikai Open on Friday, 19th September.

Even though the truly first tournament of Gekiken under Hakuzan dojo happened about three years ago, in this case, the event signalized a new approach and a new stage of development of the discipline. Thus, we invested much energy to be successful.

The potential nervousness of the hosts and participant was lifted by delicious tea (Da Hong Pao), which surely helped to build a nice and friendly atmosphere of the event. Old friends with prior experience with Gekiken have gathered, along with some new faces, all heart-warmingly welcomed.

Ample participation indicated, that the Gekiken has much to offer to people and that it is an attractive discipline. The participants of the tournament who came from across the republic were behaving utmost respectfully and reasonably. The official opening of the event took place on time. The opening was supported with the masterful play of doc. Vlastislav Matoušek on the shakuhachi flute (maybe the only brass-percussion instrument, for it was used by the priests of the zen sect of Komuso as a musical instrument as well as self-defense tool).

It was our pleasure to hear few pieces of the honkyoku (traditional repertoire), which the master played even for her majesty Japanese empress and his holiness Dalai Lama.

Next performance was the enbu of tameshigiri by Hakuzan dojo and our friends (to-be-winner Jan Neškodný, Silvestr Prayer from Gorin, Miroslav Klofát from Kasumi dojo). Japanese mats tatami omotte were cut and our sensei Jakub Zeman fulfilled his lifelong dream of test cutting on futomaki, made from five regular tatami omotte. He performed techniques migi and hidari kesa, a form of nuki uchi as teaches Nakagawa Kinji sensei – cutting right after unsheathing.

After remains of the unfortunate mats were cleaned up, there came a moment to which everyone so patiently waited: The beginning of the tournament. Opponents were chosen by a lot and because participants were even, nobody remained aside. Elegant Michael Kňažko along with Jakub Zeman as a second were acting as referees.

As an eyewitness, I must say, that all who fought at the tournament, were fair, enthusiastic, brave, concentrated, determined, with one world just phenomenal and two women participating in the competition were also charming.

The ultimate winner of a tournament was deservedly great fencer Jan Neškodný (to the great merriment of the spectators, neškodný means harmless in Czech), who clashed in a breath-taking finale with Jaroslav Víšek of Hakuzan dojo. Third place was achieved by Miroslav Klofát of Kasumi Dojo

Technical breaks were filled with nice child Gekiken of two talented boys from Kasumi Dojo.

A great many thanks belong to our dear guests, doc. Matoušek for an outstanding performance on shakuhachi, Michael Kňažko (Ars Dimicatoria) for great judging, participating dojos (Kasumi dojo, Gorin, Micu Izumi dojo) and individual participants, who traveled from across the republic – Frýdek Místek, Brno, Kadaň, and other locations.

Personally, I believe we very much enjoyed the Friday evening and the All Czech Gekiken Federation will soon host another event. Should you like events like this, we sincerely welcome you take part as either participants or spectators.

The participants of Gekiken. The winner, Jan Neškodný, is standing first on left.

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