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Ian decided he was ready to enter a Kendo tournament. He has been studying Iaido and Kendo for four years, and
was getting good at Kendo within the group that meets at San Antonio College twice a week. He uses a one hand method
to give him a little more reach, and to use the other hand for position. As the tournament started, it was announced that the one-hand
method would not be allowed. Ian fought two opponents, and both matches ended in a draw. The opponent scored no points, and neither did Ian.
There are more photos of other contestants at Cosmo Kitty .
The judges ruled in favor of the opponents for moving on to the next round.
Notice the faces of the timekeepers and other officials watching this match. Ian is their first contestant who is a wheelchair user, and they will probably have to make some adjustments to the rules in the future, but Ian had a great time at the tournament.
The wheelchair is one that we cut the back away from to allow for movement of the sword.
Kendo is sword fighting using special bamboo swords. Special face guards, shoulder pads, breastplates, gloves etc. are needed to protect the particpants from the blows caused by these bamboo swords. Points are scored only when the contestant makes
an exact hit on one of six areas. The hit must be a certain part of the sword, and must touch the scoring area exactly. Three judges are used to score each round.
A round is three minutes for the lower level fighters, and four minute rounds for advanced fighting.
Typical of most martial arts, there is a lot of ceremony involved in these battles.