(Least) Dangerous Martial Arts ★ ONLY in JAPAN
It was a beautiful afternoon in Tokyo. Everything was going well. until…. John…. How are you? Fine. Spochan is a sport originating in Japan. based on the art of sword fighting. There is an international competition with hundreds of high level competitors. They use air swords and rely on speed and skill developed with years of practice. This is TADA-san, a Spochan world champion. He moves with precision, like a mangoos fighting a snake. Something AOI doesn’t know, is that he’s also my Spochan instructor. Tada sensei explained the basics of Spochan to me. like how to Lei, or bow. then draw the air sword for battle. Keeping everything at the proper angle, to either attack or block more effectively. It’s intense, but these are air swords, and it’s always fun. That’s a “loss” The air sword is soft. Hit your opponent as hard as you like. Doesn’t hurt! Tada sensei shows me the first combo. 1-2, block and hit. It’s easy to see the strategy involved in countering your opponent’s movement in training. After a brief intro, I was thrown into battle. There is six of them. I gotta fight all six of them, and there is only one thing I can do. That’s just do it. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Good thing it’s made of air! Never show your opponent any fear. Here are Tada sensei’s top students fighting TAISEN or one-on-one battle. You see the movement needed to be a great Spochan competitor. The winner is the first one to hit any part of the body. There is a judge in competition, but self reporting hits honestly is the norm. That hit to the leg, ends the round. Why do kids pick Spochan over sports like baseball and soccer? Students told me they were attracted to the fact that anyone can play Spochan. and you can be great, no matter your size. In fact, a few kids with a KODACHI can take down a world champion. The Spochan Association theme is, harmony of the world. Bringing people together, bridging language and culture barriers. Kid also learn discipline, like in all martial arts. Since Spochan is new to me, I asked TADA sensei to explain the sports more thoroughly. They make these real light so any one can pick it up. Anybody can do it. This is KODACHI, a short sword with a length of 60cm. It’s held with one hand. You can also use a padded shield, called TATE. with the KODACHI. This long sword is a CHOKEN. It’s 1m in length. and can be held with one hand or two. A TATE is also sometimes used with a CHOKEN. Fighters can choose both KODACHI and CHOKEN. Changing weapons require a different approach. The YARI, can be compared to a spear or a lance. It’s approximately 2m in length. and allows competitors to attack from a distance. The bou. It’s a 2m, double padded spear. that reminds me of DARTH MAUL’s lightsaber in Star Wars. So there you have it. I’ve been trained. But what I didn’t know was AOI has been training for a lot longer. Aoi’s trainer shared some thoughts on Spochan. That’s not the cute little AOI that I know. That’s a dangerous women out for blood. So let’s get to the finale. Lei….bow. Kamae Tou! Hajime (start) Although my blows are powerful, her speed is too much. Perhaps with two air swords. Go in for an all out attack! Now I know her moves. It’s time to drop the hammer. The battle raged on until…. she got me countering on a frontal attack. So Spochan is a sport that anyone can do, whether you’re a child or an adult, It’s about having fun. You don’t need a lot of money and, this sports is getting popularity worldwide. So if you wanna challenge, Try spochan.