Hey guys. My name is Kaito Suzuki of KDS 20期 and I’ll be writing about the tournament that was held in Kyoto called Momiji Cup. I learned a lot from this tournament (especially since it was the first official debate tournament I participated in) so hopefully I can convey some of what I learned from this experience. Sorry in advance for my poor writing ability and how lengthy it turned out…
Since my partner (Baba) once told me my sign posting was“ ふわっとしてる”, here are my signposts?
Tournament Day 1
Tournament Day 2
What to take away
Baba was pretty much busy with other tournaments like 秋T so we didn’t really start practicing until two weeks prior. We decided on Baba going second and me going first. He quickly identified the problems with our team dynamic. Firstly, our preparation was extremely poor and I had trouble understanding what he wanted me to say. Secondly, as a result of the first problem, my speech always lacked some important aspect, whether it be mechanism or Impact. Basically my speech went from SQ to AP with nothing in between, as well as why the AP was bad. So until the day of the tournament, Baba spent a lot of time with me going over the basic idea of what a first speaker should say, as well as making sure I understood everything that was coming out of his mouth.
Side note: I went to a 銭湯 for the first time and it was awesome. 10/10 would recommend.
Tournament Day 1:
The whole day I felt queasy and unsure of myself. This feeling got worse because of the fact that the tournament delayed for roughly about 3 hours. I’m not going to talk about every single round but I will talk about the rounds that stood out to me.
R1: THW ban the use of models who are below a healthy weight. (OPP)
I didn’t really know what to argue or what to say even, but my experienced and trusty god-like partner seemed to know what we should say so I tried to say everything he wanted me to say. It didn’t turn out so well. I lacked mechanism as well as impact so you can already imagine how this one went for me. I remember going back to my seat after I was done with my LO speech and Baba looked really concerned. Like REALLY concerned. After the GOV Reply speech was done, we were heading back to the OR and I specifically remember Baba telling me that we had a chance of losing this one. My speech was actually just that awful. Although this was one of our worst rounds, it made our (my) problems very clear and therefore we could improve for the rounds to come.
Rounds 2, 3, 4 went by pretty smoothly and Baba was absolutely confident so that was a great sign going forward.
Tournament Day 2
Like the day before, the only thing I felt was queasiness and anxiety. Knowing that the teams that made it this far were top teams of this tournament, it was really time to step up and perform the best that I could.
Quarter Final: THW forcibly remove homeless from the street and place them in rehabilitation centers. (OPP)
Easily one of the hardest rounds of this tournament. The government side had really strong speakers and after their DPM speech, the possibility of disappearing in Quarter Finals seemed extremely realistic. Thankfully, my partner really came in clutch and we barely (3-2 split) made it through.
Grand Final: THBT prisoners sentenced to life-time imprisonment should be allowed to choose death penalty. (OPP)
Just really embarrassing overall. I went up there and choked for 11 minutes. My partner went up there and really dazzled everyone which led to our victory.
What to take away:
In the end, we won the tournament. But the result is still skeptical in my mind. How much of this did I really contribute to? Was I even necessary? These thoughts still plague my mind even after a week has passed. After all, 99% of the matter that came from our team, was basically matter from Baba. In addition, the difficult rounds that we’ve managed to win (Quarter Final and Grand Final) were all thanks to Baba’s godly DLO speech. So in the end, do I even deserve any of the title’s I received during this tournament? Am I just a brainless man who can speak English?
Even if I didn’t deserve this victory, what’s important is how I progress from here. I guess these are what I learned/ what I need to work on.
- Making it Easier for the Second Speaker: As a man that has a ridiculous amount of logic leaps and incomplete impacts, this is something I thought was pretty important. Since debate is a team based competition, I think it is important to actively think about how far/what you have to explain in order to make it easier for your partner. My consistent logic leaps probably didn’t help my partner in the slightest.
- Coming up with matter and new perspectives: The main reason why I felt useless this tournament. In a situation where I’m partnered with a man with a lot of matter, I will have no difficulty surviving but in the end, it won’t feel good. Also, in a situation where I’m not paired with a matter machine, I will literally die. Filling this weakness is one of my greatest weaknesses that I have to overcome in the near future.
- Calm and collected: Extremely apparent in the Grand Final. I guess I’m really weak under pressure and if in the future I have to do a speech in front of a lot of people, I will 100% choke in my current state. I guess I have to get used to doing speeches in front of a lot of people so I don’t look like a nervous embarrassment.
Firstly to my partner for not only simply working with me, but spending a lot of your personal time to make me a better debater. Sorry if I was useless during the tournament but nevertheless, thank you for guiding me to victory. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be more reliable.
Secondly to the KDS 先輩 for everything since I first stepped into practice. I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything you guys have taught me. For that, I am truly grateful and no words of gratitude could do justice f.
Thanks for reading guys. Sorry about how lengthy this turned out. Hopefully you found this at the very least, slightly entertaining.
Champion: KDS A( Takua Baba, Kaito Suzuki)
Double-Oct finalists: KDS B (Yuji Kobayashi, Yusuke Fuse), KDS C (Hana Muramatsu, Mitsuki Miyashita), KDS F (Satomi Kondo, Kazuna Kanehara)
Best speaker: Takua Baba
2nd Best speaker: Kaito Suzuki
10th Best speaker: Rika Yamamoto
Best adjudicator: Mio Wadano
8th Best adjudicators: Mioko Fukuda, Mizuki Ikeda