I was fighting as number two (chuken ) and our first match was against Mumeishi 'A'. Seyi our kyu grade performed really well and won his match 1-0, I started well in mine with a quick kote... however, I did the same as in the British Open and threw it away by losing a men and kote. Was very annoyed with myself! This left the match all square at 2-2 points. Oli fought into encho and took it with a winning men cut.
Our next match was against Tora 'B'. I know these guys pretty well so knew the quality we were facing. Seyi fought Josh, who graded shodan this year. Seyi didnt give him any room to manoeuvre and drew 0-0.
I fought their kyu grade, I could tell he'd been given instructions to stay close and keep in my face so I couldn't attack from distance. He was doing a good job well until wakare was called and we were parted. This then gave me room and I got him with a small men on the restart. 1-0.
This left Oli to fight Dipak who was their best fighter. Dipack went ahead early but Oli managed to tie the match late on giving us the win.
We were drawn against Portsmouth 'A' in the next round. Again I knew these guys from visiting their dojo in the past. Seyi was paired against a Japanese lady and did his usual straight cuts without letting them settle. Another 0-0.
I was matched against the kyu grade again which upped the pressure as people were expecting me to win. However, things didnt't do to plan as I couldn't get a clean cut. I did notice that he was lingering next to the shaijo line which gave me the opportunity to cut then nudge him out for a hansoku. After the restart he again retreated near the line so I attempted a cut/taiatari to send him out for a second hansoku..... i'm unsure if I hit him with a genuine taiatari or a shoulder barge but I sent him sprawling across the floor. I felt really bad as I don't usually fight dirty (I hope they let me train with them again!). It finished 0-0.
It was down to Oli again to win it for us again who was matched against their 3rd dan taisho. Both fought well and it stayed 0-0 though full time, encho and ended with a judges' decision (Hantei) which was given Oil's way. A tough way to go out as both sides fought hard.
This win meant we'd made it to the quarter final against Wakaba.
Seyi again drew his match 0-0 against their kyu grade (meaning he was defeated in every match), and I was drawn against Andris who i've practiced against many times before. I felt I kept my end up well during the match but he caught me with a kote, ending 1-0. This meant Oli had to beat their taisho to keep us in it. Unfortunately, Takuya was too strong and won the match.
We performed our expectations to make it into the quarters although my team mates did carry me though most of the matches. The main positive I've taken from this competition is the vast reduction in nerves while in the shiaijo. Hopefully I will start to loosen up for future shiai and help score a few more points.