December 12, 2015 – Kent, WA – This annual tournament is held by two of our teachers, Curtis Marsten sensei and Vicki Marsten sensei. They have Kendo schools in Kent and Federal Way, WA. It is for 3rd Dan (black belt) and below.

Competition Results

This year Spokane Kendo Club sent 10 competitors to the 19th Annual Kent Tournament in Kent WA. Here’s how Spokane fared this year:

Adult Teams

  • 1st Place: Spokane A Team (Chris Ruiz, Yarrow Sandberg, Tomoki Koshiyama, Aaron Melton, Jeff Lamb)

1-3 Dan (Black Belt)

  • 2nd Place: Chris Ruiz
  • 3rd Place: Tomoki Koshiyama
  • 4th Place: Yarrow Sandberg

Seniors 1-3 Dan

  • 3rd Place: Wendy Sinclair
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The Trip

On the Way to Kent

This tournament is held annually in Kent, WA by two of our teachers, Curtis Marsten sensei and his wife Vicki Marsten sensei. They have Kendo schools in Kent and Federal Way.

There were 10 competitors from Spokane on this trip, and along with Spokane teachers W. Sinclair sensei and R. Sinclair sensei it made for a full van of enthusiastic people. Laughs were shared, conversations were had, and spirits were running high all the way over.

The trip had a late start Friday. Some people had to work later, so we were not able to practice that Friday night at one of the Seattle area training halls, as is one of our usual traditions. But that meant that everyone could take time heading to the Seattle area and relax that night with each other at the hotel before competing the next day.

There’s a special tree at one of our rest stops on the way over to Seattle. One of our customs is to climb the tree and take a group photo [link]. Everyone that was willing and able climbed into the tree and grabbed a spot, while the rest of the crew decided to show a little attitude at the bottom by posing with their hoods up and their game faces on.

Afterward we headed to Ellensburg for a dinner stop, where some of the members finally found out what a Starbucks flat white coffee is (hint – it’s not white coffee).  The final leg of the journey took us over the mountain pass and down into the Seattle area for a quiet, relaxing evening at the hotel.

Teddy Benson was very excited to be coming on the trip, and entertained everyone with stories about his family and random questions directed at everyone.  Some of the questions passed around were “If you could pair up any two musical artists or group to create an album together, who would you choose?” and “If you could replace any actor in history with a goat, who would it be?”  It was a great way to fill the time, and a great bonding and learning exercise.

On the way over the mountain pass everyone wrote down their opinions about who should be on our “A” team and “B” team and what the order of the team members should be.

Hit the hotel. Got some snacks. Final decision about team order. Brief conversation and instruction about individual and team strategies, and a bit of good-natured jabbing at each other.  Each person was, in their own way, preparing for the next day’s competition as well as lifting up their team mates.  Each was eager and ready for a full day of kendo.

On the Way Home

We had dinner together at Twiggs in North Bend. Great food. We all ate too much!

On the way home we talked about the results of the individual and team matches, what we did well and what we can do better.

Although everyone was tired from the day’s competition, but we were in great sprits. Some commented on how the Kendo endurance training sensei does for us has enabled us to go through a long day of competition with less and less fatigue.

Snow and ice over the pass, but we didn’t have to chain up. Lots of conversation about Kendo. How to grow and improve, future plans for dojo growth, etc.