Taiko drummers will invoke the ancient deities of fighting

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In the past, during traditional Kata competitions taiko drumming indicated the beginning and the end of the exercise. For organizers, it was self-evident that this ancient Japanese ritual should be incorporated into the biggest Kyokushin World Tournament of all time.

A taiko drum will arrive to the world tournament from the birthplace of Kyokushin karate, specifically made for this event. It will come by plane and will be used in the first time during the opening ceremony of the tournament. The drum has been made from God-tree and weighs about 150 kg including the stand. The drum will be sanctified in accord with Shintoist rituals. After the tournament, the taiko drum becomes the property of the Szentes Oyama SE dojo.

Japanese make several kinds of taiko drums ranging from small to giant one. Performing on a taiko drum requires great physical strength; a drumstick can weigh, as much as 5-6 kg. The drumming itself imitates fighting movements. The original function of the taiko drum is to invoke the help of war deities before the beginning of the battle, according to Shintoist tradition. In ancient times, drumming functioned as a disciplinary act drawing attention to the coming battle and it was a tool in the emotional and spiritual preparation of fighters.

This ancient function of drumming will be invoked symbolically, in the opening ceremony of the tournament by a group of taiko drummers; then a symphony orchestra will play the "House of the Young Lions" musical piece, which is the official hymn of the uchi-dechi-s.

"When I lived with Sosai in Japan, as an uchi-deshi, each training started with taiko drum beats. After the drumming, we meditated, then the training started. We finished the training with drum beats again. In Japanese tradition every fight begins and ends with drumming." said sensei Sándor Brezovai, the chief organizer of the event.



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