MEAC cleaning this week

Hello All,

The school will be having the MEAC cleaned this Thursday (no indication of what time), so if the arts that train on Tuesday ensure that the mats are put away and any other club property then the cleaners shouldn’t have any issues.


Training this week in Toowoomba and Gin Gin (Jujutsu, Kendo, Iaido, Go)

Easter is almost here, and I have an opportunity this week to stay in Toowoomba and play catch up on a bunch of University work.

As a result, I will be running Jujutsu in Toowoomba tonight while Brady is off providing help on the family farm, and hence there will not be training in Gin Gin. Also today, I will be on campus at the usual time for a game of Go with anyone available (12–1 pm).

Wednesday Gin Gin classes will be run as a study group for both Kendo and Iaido (thanks Tam!). Ivan Hills from Gin Gin is due to be in Toowoomba over the Easter weekend (starting Thursday) so it would be great to see as many as can come along come along to training to welcome him for usual Thursday and Saturday training sessions.

The following fortnight, I will be away for study commitments, so we will provide an reminder of changes to class times after the Easter period. Suffice to say we will not be training on any of the public holidays over the next week, Gin Gin training will be unaffected from Wednesday next week, and we shall have to confirm the other session in Toowoomba over the next few days.

Vale Tiff Day

It is with some sadness that I need to report that Tiff Day, Olympian, and former Judo coach at BBRD died on Wednesday at the home of her parents in Pittsworth. Tiff was 29.

Tiff was always known for her energy, humour, dedication and excellence in both her professional sphere as a nurse practitioner and in the dojo. On a more personal level, she helped restore my faith in the Judo community after a particularly trying time, and was instrumental in coaching Brady Albrand to achieving a Bronze at the Uni Games in 2013. 

Our thoughts are with Tiff’s parents Robin and Deb, and all of her extended family and friends, including both Jack B and Wooram C who are members of both BBRD and the Pittsworth Judo community.

As yet, there are no firm details regarding a funeral service or family wishes for the most appropriate memorial. Craig Hindmarsh, President of the Pittsworth Judo Club is the primary point of contact for information and passing on any condolences to her family. When more details are available, I will of course pass them on as soon as have them.  

A message from the incoming President

Hello all,

I look forward to representing you as the new President of the club.  I have some rather large shoes to fill, as Michael left with a 10 year legacy as President of the club.

As with any change of leadership there will be a transition period so please bear with me as I learn all of the duties and responsibilities associated with my new role, but I hope to make this process as short and painless as possible.

I will endeavour to lead the club through its guiding principles, "Integrity, Perseverance, Compassion", and to steer the club on towards a bright horizon.


President's Report for 2018-19

It is with some mixed feelings that I am penning what will be my last Club President’s report for the foreseeable future. As I had indicated at last year’s AGM, my intention has been to step down from the role as President this year so that I am able to focus more fully on my studies.

I am immensely proud of what the Club has managed to achieve over the past year, and indeed over the ten years that the Club has been running. I am stepping down at a time where we have a broad range of supported activities and disciplines, where individual members are taking up responsibility for Club functions, and where we have continued to have success in both sporting and community engagement terms.

There were a number of highlights for 2018. These included:

  • Growth in the numbers participating in all disciplines

  • The successful trial of virtual dojo training sessions, video linking members located in different cities

  • The receipt of the generously donated taiko drums from the City of Takatsuki to the Toowoomba Region, and the associated travel to Japan as part of the Toowoomba delegation by Club members

  • The formal inclusion of Olympic fencing as a supported discipline of the Club

  • The start of a sister Club in Gin Gin (Bundaberg region), training Kendo, Iaido and Jujutsu

  • Eric Tavenner’s participation at the International SMR Jodo Gasshuku, held in Brisbane in August

  • The re-establishment of Systema as a formal class rather than a study group, with Michael Conroy’s success in achieving “Instructor in Training” Status at the Toronto International Training Camp

  • Participation at the August IBF/Fight for Life event in Brisbane, where we performed a Kyudo demonstration in support of Ramon Lawrence, sensei, the National President.

  • Successful participation in the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival (August)

  • Completion by myself and Brady Albrand of the National Coaching Scheme reaccreditation process for Jujutsu

  • Success at the University Sports Div 1 Championships, with a bronze medal for Jack Baker in the Under 73 division of the Judo competition and good showing by Kateena Martin, who was the first USQ competitor in kendo since 2014.

  • Indeed, the dedication and efforts of those who came to support the Uni Games competition as volunteers, putting effort above and beyond to ensure that the competition was a success, including Sean Thompson’s first outing to support the Games.

  • Jack Baker’s ongoing success at Club-level Judo competitions throughout this year past.

  • Participation at the inaugural Gin Gin Martial Arts weekend in November

  • Participation at both Winter and Summer QKR seminars, held on the Gold Coast.

  • Sian Carlyon’s successful tilt at Shodan in Iaido, and her winning the Haga Shield at the Australian Iaido and Jodo Championships, held in Hobart.

  • My acceptance as a member of the Dai Nippon Butokukai, General Division in Jujutsu, and my successful challenge for Nidan in Iaido

I am also immensely proud of all the personal successes of the membership and the friends who support the Club— new jobs, weddings, commencement of formal studies, fresh starts, new horizons, and the myriad of personal successes that we have enjoyed witnessing through the lens of our Club’s community. I have said it most years, but the Club exists not just for, but because of our membership and commitment to supporting each other, sharing joys and assisting when called on to help each other.

I also would like to make a special mention of losing Russell Wilson, one of the Club’s foundation members, and former Club Treasurer. Despite having not trained with us for some time, Russell’s death was certainly a blow, and he will be missed.

On a lighter note, it has been wonderful to see the return of a number of absent friends to the dojo, and I would like to see them back regularly over the coming year! And for those former (financial) members who have moved away, we are always excited to see you back in town, in the dojo, or simply catching up at seminars and other events through the year!

And so, I would like to commend the incoming Club President and the rest of the Executive team, and wish them all success for the coming year. I will be nominating for a position as the General Member on the committee, and of course continuing to teach into the disciplines I have responsibility for, so will still be a strong feature of the Club going forwards from this point. I feel proud, wistful and excited with the prospect of the year ahead. With the promise of more activity “up North”, and many opportunities for community engagement, 2019 promise to be a wonderful year. Gambatte! and may all success be enjoyed by the Club and its membership.

Jujutsu News

With the upcoming chance to grade, remember to attend as many classes as possible in the lead up. Numbers have been low on Monday nights recently, but remember that this is an opportunity to review kata and prepare to challenge a grade. In light of the low numbers, it is important to make sure that you attend to keep Monday classes viable. We will be keeping an eye on attendance during April as a way of deciding if Monday classes will continue. If class numbers continue to be low on Mondays we will cancel Monday classes until they are sustainable.

This also gives a timely moment to review some of the housekeeping expectations for everyone. Please be considerate of the following:

  1. Advise the instructor for the night if you will not make training. Remember that on Monday night Brady takes the class and that on Thursday and Saturday Michael takes the class. Ensure that you message the appropriate person to let them know if you will not make a session you would regularly attend.

  2. Be punctual. This means arriving during the set-up phase of the session. On Monday and Thursday this means arriving between 6:00pm and 6:15pm and not later. Saturday training means arriving between 3:15pm and 3:30pm to set up while Kendo training finishes. Of course, there are times that we have obligations that keep us, but make sure you message ahead if you will be late so the instructor knows to expect you. It does mean consistently arriving late without phoning or messaging ahead.

Remember that as part of a community, we depend on each other to be as effective and as efficient as possible. This means that each member of the discipline needs to work together to let the instructor know if they will not make one of their regular sessions or if they will be late.

We look forward to seeing you in the dojo the coming days!

AGM and membership renewals

Another quick reminder that the Club’s AGM is to be held at the MEAC on Saturday at 4.30 pm.

You ought to be in receipt of an e-mail outlining what you need to do with regard to renewal. If you have not, please check your “junk mail” folder, and if still not findable, please contact either Sian Carlyon or myself immediately — it is most likely that if you have not received it, we do not have your current e-mail properly listed in the Club’s database.

In order to continue to train, you will need to ensure that you have paid your annual fees no later than Monday 1 April. 

Remember that there will be no FlexiFit training this Saturday to accomodate the AGM, and we are planning to have some pizza to celebrate the new Club year, so do let your instructor/discipline coordinators know if you are attending so that we can cater appropriately. 

Training this week

With the Toowoomba Show Holiday and the Club’s AGM this week, there are some variations to the regular schedule. 

Thursday night Jujutsu, Taiko, Kendo and Iaido and Jodo classes will be cancelled.  

Saturday FlexiFit class is likewise cancelled to accomodate the AGM at 4.30 pm. 

In Gin Gin, we hope to see more folk at the Monday Jujutsu class, which will now be starting at 6.30 pm. Could those attending please arrive as soon as you can after 6 pm to help set up the mats, in order to facilitate a prompt start to training.  

Have a great week everyone! 

Kia kaha Christchurch

I just wanted to make a few brief comments regarding the events on Friday in Christchurch, and express solidarity with all those affected by it. 

In may ways the event itself and even some of the reactions to it have not been surprising, and while political violence is most distressingly a common tool internationally, when something like this occurs so close to home there is an immediate and visceral reaction to it. A reflex that reduces the barrier to empathy, and helps us to express solidarity with victims of tragedy. 

Kia kaha is a Maori phrase that translates to “stay strong”. It takes strength to stand in the face of indifference, malice and violence. I personally want to put out a call and suggest that we all have a moral responsibility to stay strong in the face of this, and to help others do likewise. 

In doing so I want to reaffirm the Club’s core values of Integrity, Perseverance, and Compassion (Makoto • Kon Ki • Jin). We stand as a collective that values diversity and stands with the vulnerable against those that promote fear and violence as tools of their politics.