June 23rd 2006
Climbing the ladder
A Dan grading, regardless of the rank being sought, is always a memorable occasion, not only for the students themselves but for their sensei's as well.
This year during our dojo's Annual Summer Camp and Dan Grading which was held from June 24th - 26th, five students graded for the rank of Shodan, one student graded for the rank of Ni Dan, and three students graded for the rank of San Dan, all under the watchful eyes of the grading panel, and their family and friends.
These pictures represent but a small part of their journey which has been many years in the making.
Our special guest
This year our special guest was Sensei Hiro Hayashi of Victoria Kyokushin Karate. Sensei Hayashi taught nunchaku to a small select group of senior students on the final day of our camp. The seminar was thoroughly enjoyed by all of the participants, not only for the vast amount of knowledge they gained, but due mainly to Sensei Hayashi's relaxed style of teaching, and his warm personality.
Up close
Sensei Hayashi demonstrated many of the close quarter uses for this particular weapon with the assistance of Sempai Barry Norman. Later that evening Sempai was promoted to the rank of San Dan later at our annual awards banquet.
Copy cats
Sempai Cathy and Sempai Amy paired up to work on a new series of drills. They were also promoted in rank later that evening, Sempai Cathy to the rank of San Dan and Sempai Amy to the rank of Ni Dan. Both students are long time members of the dojo and their promotion was well deserved.
Pointers from the teacher
Sensei Hayashi made a point of going around the dojo and working with each group individually to make sure that the finer details were clearly understood by all concerned. Sensei Hayashi's years of dedication to the art of kobudo were clearly visible in his technique.
Waiting their turn
Newly promoted Sho Dan's, Sempai Uwe Bartley, Sempai Diane Luszniak, and Sempai Roberta Hutchinson work on their basics while waiting for Sensei Hayashi to get around to their group.
Checking the results
Sensei Hayashi kept a close eye on all of the students, not only is saftey always a concern when doing any form of weapons training, he was also looking for correct technique to be sure that all of the students developed good basics.
Where does it itch
Seen here are two of the senior kyu belts who also attended the seminar, Karen Boudewyn and Jessie Gray. I know what Jesse is doing by the blur of the nunchaku but, Karen I am not so sure about.
The banquet
On the Sunday evening we held our annual banquet at which time the students performed their various demonstrations prior to receiving their belts and certificates.
Sho Dan at last
The "five" - ranging in age from 13 to their forties Put together an wonderful demonstration including kihon, kata, and the associated bunkai. Here they are caught in motion during the kata Tekki Nidan. Despite their many differences they soon formed into a very dedicated group and their long hours of practice paid off in the end.
Three San Dan's
Demonstrating kihon for family and friends prior to the banquet are sempai's Cathy Quinn, Barry Norman, and Marilyn Norman. All three are known for their hard work and dedication.
When spouses collide
Seen here during their bunkai demonstration are Sempai Barry Norman and Sempai Marilyn Norman, fortunately for Sempai Barry this time he did not end up on the floor. Both students were promoted to San Dan which is in it's self an amazing achievement anyone let alone a couple with young family.
The Sho Dan's take time to say thank you
Time to stand up
Sempai Amanda Braaten stands on her chair to thank her parents, fellow students and instructors for their time and support while Sempai Robert Winter checks his own notes. Both junior students regularly train with the adult class.
Some one please send me a photo of Robert !!
Don't bother with the chair
At fifteen years old and something like six foot seven inches tall there was no reason to put Sempai Robert on a chair in order to see and hear him clearly but somethings remain a tradition. His parents called it a life changing year, I am sure he would agree.
My first day
Sempai Roberta read a short story about her first day in the dojo and what it felt like to be "the new student at the end of the row." Her story was entitled "First Class" which is fitting since it describes her perfeclty both as a student and as an individual.
Notes in hand
A details kind of person Sempai Diane made sure that none of her supporters where left out, a special thank you was reserved for her husband Mark with out whose assistance and support she said this day would not have been possible.
Yes he is on a chair
Seeming to dwarf the door behind him Sempai Uwe expressed his thanks to his wife and his two chidren for their on going support. An avid reader Sempai Uwe has spent many hours researching the many aspects of karate, when called upon to speak in class on the histroy of our art he is never at a loss for words.
A Ni Dan's turn next
In addition to be a long time member of the dojo Sempai Amy Barnes has made several trips to the annual FSKA World Championship tournament that is held each Fall in Las Vegas, Nevada. A strong competitor in both kata and kumite sempai Amy always does well at local and international tournaments.
The San Dan's have their say
Leading by example
Sempai Barry is a regular instructor at the junior class and always leads by example. A dedicated student who makes every effort to pass on his knowledge to those who would follow in his foot he never gives less than one hundred percent.
Fifteen years and still going strong
Of all of the students in the dojo the one who has trained with me the longest is Sempai Marilyn. Her years of leadership and dedication are and inspiration to every other student in the dojo.
Congratulations to all
In addition to thanking her many supporters Sempai Cathy made a point of congratulating the dojo's newest yudansha on all of their hard work this past year. A leader in every sense of the word Sempai Cathy sets a high standard in all aspects of her life.
The end
I survived
Proud of his newly awarded rank of Sho Dan, Sempai Uwe holds up his T-shirt that reads "I survived the 2006 Shodan Grading".
The three day camp was a great success, as you can tell from the look on Sempai's face.
A happy bunch of yudansha at the end of the grading
Front row from left to right: Uwe Bartley, (Sho Dan) Cathy Quinn, (San Dan) Diane Luszniak, (Sho Dan) Barry Norman, (San Dan) Robert Winter, (Sho Dan) and Amanda Braaten, (Sho Dan). Back row from left to right: Amy Barnes, (Ni Dan) Roberta Hutchinson, (Sho Dan) Marilyn Norman (San Dan).
To the graduating class of 2006 our congratulations.
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay