Zama's 'Killer Katanas' compete in 'Scar Wars' mash-up roller derby bout with special guest
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Feb. 26, 2013) -- The Zama Killer Katanas and several other local roller derby teams braved the cold Feb. 23 for "Scar Wars: Darth Maul-her vs. Princess Slaya," a mash-up bout held at the outdoor hockey rink here.
The event, organized in part by the Tokyo Roller Girls, or TRG, League, combined the Killer Katanas, the Yokosuka Sushi Rollers and the Tokyo Derby Girls, and pitted them against each other for an all-out duel. Team Darth Maul-her won the event with a score of 198-134.
Emily Morris, known by her derby name "Kamikaze Barbie," is vice president of TRG and said the sense of family among the players is her favorite aspect of the physical sport.
"When we have events like this, a mash-up, I can count on the Katana or (Yokota) Scary Blossom (players) to have my back when we are together on the track," Morris said.
All derby players are trained, and must pass a basic skills assessment standardized by the Women's Flat Track Derby Association checklist in order to participate in league play. Derby players are trained on techniques such as how to fall properly, stop correctly and not hit other players with their elbows.
"This is not the derby from the '70s," Morris said.
Marina Behrendt, known by her derby name "Killa Cali," is president of the Killer Katanas and said she likes the aggression of the sport and thinks being a member of the roller derby team is a fun way to exercise.
Each derby member brings their own sense of fun to the sport from the unique outfits they wear and the names they choose, said Behrendt.
"No one looks the same out there," Behrendt said.
Everyone is a part of a team or league, but their unique personalities are displayed through their "bedazzled" outfits, Behrendt added.
Melissa Curtis, aka "MeLicious Moose," was a special guest at the event and joined team Darth Maul-her from the Rink Minx Roller Girls in Canada.
Curtis said she enjoys putting on her skates and the body contact of the sport, but her favorite thing about roller derby is the fact that the sport is gaining worldwide recognition.
"It's one of the fastest growing sports right now," Curtis said. "You can go anywhere and find roller derby, and they welcome you."