Even after victory, challenges continue



The winner of the 60th All Japan Women’s Championships was Senoo Maika, a young talented competitor in her third year at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya.

“Even if I win, it’s only for that day. I want to challenge the champion’s title each time.”

She won the title by defeating the best of the best. However, she remained calm.

Senoo Maika, 4th Dan

Born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 2000. When she was at Nakamura Gakuen High School, she competed in the world championships and made her name. She placed 3rd individually at the World Championships, won the Inter High School Team Championship and the Individual Championship, placed 3rd in the All Japan Women’s Student Championship, and won the Individual Championship in the Kyushu Women’s Student Championship.

Going for the Ippon as a challenger

For Senoo, this year’s All Japan Women’s Championships may have had a strong meaning of vindication. This is because she was not able to participate in the 59th All Japan Women’s Championships held six months ago (in 2021, the All Japan Women’s Championships was held twice). She had to stay at home for two weeks because she was suspected to have had close contact with a person who tested positive for the new coronavirus. However, when her homestay ended, there was a preliminary round in Fukuoka Prefecture for the second championship this year.

“I had a qualifying round on the last day of my stay at home. Fortunately, I tested negative, and I think it was because I was frustrated that I couldn’t participate earlier this year that I was able to train so hard this time and face this day.”

That’s why she had a strong desire to win without feeling the pressure to get results.
“I concentrated on the Shiai in front of me, one by one, and tried to win the Shiai with a challenger’s spirit.”

Senoo’s challenger’s mindset contributed to her calmness.

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