My World Kendo Championship experience

by Eliška Vytlačilová
Account assistant in DJK Europe GmbH, Prague office

My experience from WKC (World Kendo Championship experience) was something so unique that it is really hard to explain it by words. Although I was preparing myself for possibility that I will also participate through the whole-year preparation, until the very moment I was standing at the airport with my bogu all packed up, I somehow couldn´t believe it was really happening. Or maybe not even there….

WKC is held every three years, but the year 2015 was really special in many ways. Not only it took part in the country of its origin, Japan, but also only for the second time in Tokyo; after 35 years of the event´s establishment in 1970. On top of that, the venue was Nippon Budokan – the traditional hall, sort of chapel of martial arts, the place where every kendoka, especially Japanese, dreams about to have a fight one day…. And now it was supposed to be me, a little second dan from the small country of Czech Republic.

It was maybe because of this that I could not realize it was true. Our team came to Japan and was so lucky to have a chance to fight with the best kendoka in Japan. First it was Royal police dojo, a smallish wooden traditional practicing place, hidden between the pine trees in the middle of Royal Palace Gardens. We were given the opportunity to face the most experienced teachers in Japan. Then it was Nihon Taiiku Daigaku (Nippon Sport Science University) where the young kendo prodigies are raised to be the best of the best…after almost four months, it still feels like a dream to me, too stunning to be true.

After all, after one long year of our hard work, sweat and sometimes even blood and tears, it finally came. I was facing my opponent at the first round in the pools, Women Individual tournament. The strangest thing was that – comparing to every single competition I have been through in Czech or elsewhere in Europe – I did not feel nervous. I wasn´t shaking like I do usually. I could not understand it. Then my first fight was over, I don´t even know how but I won. After the second fight it was over for me, but not that kind of queer delirium I was in. It was all too special, too one of the kind, too intense, too short….that kind of momentary beauty that vanishes away so fast.

I think that I won´t be able to fully realize the intensity, the power and the “wholeness” of this experience for another few (or more) years, maybe until I will be telling about it to my future kids. However, I will be always grateful to the life itself and to everyone who helped me to get this one-life opportunity. Thank you for letting me be a part of this!

Eliška Vytlačilová
Account assistant in DJK Europe GmbH, Prague office
2nd dan in kendo