Primary school shiai

For our junior members, here is some primary school shiai (competition) from Japan. This is the Saitama Prefecture Primary School Championships from 2011. The video is of the final of the grade 3 division. So these children are probably 8 or 9 years old.

Watch how they enter and exit the shiaijo (court, or match area). Did you notice how they bowed first to shomen (high place in the dojo) then to each other? That's because this is the final. You do that only when it's the very first or the very last match of the tournament. Notice the shinpan (referees) also bow to shomen at the same time. Shinpan don't bow to the shiaisha (competitors) though.

This is a great match. White is quite a bit taller than red, but red doesn't seem scared at all. There is a lot of moving around in tsubazeriai (close fighting, literally 'meeting of the two tsuba'), but both shaisha regularly come back to tachiai (swords-crossed). This shows they are both experienced at shiai and also quite fearless! They each score one point before fighting for the final point. Watch and find out who wins!

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