Way of the Samurai: Spochan PART 1

Recently I’ve been taking a closer look at Japan through a new window. Bushido is the way of the samurai and sword play is considered by some as one level.
In Japan, there’s kendo, a sport with long sticks that is pretty intense.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, there’s Sports Chanbara also known as Spochan.

It’s a recognized sport with an international competition every November in Japan.
Spochan requires good knowledge of moving with a sword without the rigors of getting hit in the head with one.
The air swords come is several different sizes with 60cm and 100cm being the most widely used.

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I got a chance to try Spochan out at the Kanagawa Sports Hall near Yokohama.
1) Anyone can do it! Because the air swords are light, kinds of all ages can wield a sword! Boy and girls both participate.

2) It’s all about speed!
This is important to remember. Sometimes kids can beat adults because they are harder to hit and sometimes faster.

3) It’s inexpensive.Equipment is a fraction of the cost of kendo and fencing.

4) Anyone can win!
It does take practice to become good at Spochan but if you work at it even a little, it’s possible to win a medal in a competition.

5) The sport has been around for over 40 years! Founded in 1972, Spochan is not new but it has only been in the last decade that it’s starting to take off, little by little. There are Spochan associations in many countries outside Japan and it’s growing.

I’ll have more information on Spochan in the next two months and will update this page again on November 20, 2015.

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Creator and Producer 「ONLY in JAPAN」
President of Weblish Media Ltd.
Reporter for NHK World "Tokyo Eye"

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