The 17th World Kendo Championships ended.
I felt so relieved, and now I don’t have regrets.
The Korean national team has been competing for two years to prepare for the 17th World Kendo Championships. For only 5 minutes game time with Japan…
The result is runner-up in the men’s team competition, as well as 2nd and 3rd place in the individual competition.
A few days before the competition, President Lee Jong-Rim of the Korean Kumdo Association said, “If we can’t win both individual and team matches let’s just win at least one.” But this time, 1st place went to Japan and we had to maintain the runner-up position.
After the fourth round of the national team’s World Championships, there was always high expectation that it would be different this time, and this time, we practiced with confidence and conviction that we could not only win, but win first place. But brutally, each time the odds were against us and the results were the same. However, I thought, “I can’t give up, I need to defend completely (counterattack) and make perfect ippon.” I think that there is not much difference between Japanese players and Korean players. And it’s because the Japanese players might feel like they’re giving ground to us a bit. So, I was convinced that the 17th World Kendo Championships in Korea was a great opportunity to win, and I was doing well since the individual competition started. However, I lost my victory in the final round due to my overconfidence and arrogance. I felt that my opponent, Ando was nervous, and it showed in his movements. But the opponent was waiting for the right opportunity and didn’t miss it.
I was careless. Even in 16 WKC, Kim In-Beom sensei, who is my master, gave me confidence that I could win if I wasn’t careless. But I failed to follow his advice and made the same mistake again this time.
After the individual match, I asked myself, can I win again? The answer came to me: “I can win if I meet him again.”
I missed my chance in the individual competition, but I was confident in the team competition.
On the men’s team competition day, our players struggled to reach the finish line. Our players were conscious of the Japanese team and personally expected to play again with Ando. The Japanese team was also aware of the Korean players.
The team started operations from the preliminary round to the semifinals. I had more kote-uchi attacks than others, and when Ando came to the final, he was prepared for kote-uchi. I prepared men-uchi for the win. There was one more chance in the Taishou match with Ando. When I played the Taishou match I was cool headed during the game. Although there were many chances, it failed to result in a win. The men-uchi that were used in the match were not enough to make an ippon… The taisho match was a draw, so South Korea’s team was shattered in the final match.
After that, I cried a lot. The days of preparing for the 17WKC passed through my heart and after crying, I felt refreshed.
It is natural for the national team to train hard and feel the pressure from Japanese players.
I have no doubt that if we overcome the pressure from them, the South Korea will come out on top of the world.
That is why the South Korean national team players chosen by the 18wkc and In the South Korea elite players should have confidence and abandon their fear and compete.
Finally, I’d like to thank head coach Park Kyung-Ok and assistant coach Jang Sung-Hong for believing in our players until the end, and thanks to the South Korean kendo team for their hard work for the 17WKC.