Training this week

With the school holidays timetable active, could I ask that everyone be prompt to start classes no more than 5 minutes from the scheduled start times. This means that you ought to be getting to the dojo early enough to ensure that you are ready to change clothes and prepare yourself to commence training ASAP. With the new clock up on the wall, I will be ensuring that we are starting and finishing sessions five minutes in/five minutes to go so that we can promptly change between session where necessary.  

Second, over the holidays we will be trialling a few lunch time sessions, based on demand. We need to cover the rental cost of the space for these additional sessions ($40 for a bit over an hour of training), so the minimum cost will be a $10 casual session fee though if we have only one or two folk, we will need to split this up. The first session planned is this Thursday from 12.30–1.45pm for jujutsu. We will confirm details at training tonight.

Third, there has been some interest in getting some formal Gym and Swim sessions started up over the summer (at least till I head back to my travelling schedule in mid-March). Could all of those interested let me know ASAP your availability for Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning sessions (9.30am) at the Milne Bay Centre from next week so that we can sort an appropriate program out for the next three months. 

Finally, Go will be run in the USQ Refectory on Tuesday lunchtimes from 12.30pm. Please let me know if you are interested in having a game!

Seminar event Sunday 16 December: Western cane fighting

In the spirit of always supporting interesting events here in Toowoomba, I would like to encourage those that can, to go along to the La Canne Vigny & Defense dans la Rue seminar being hosted by the Historical School of Defense Toowoomba at the Toowoomba East State School from 10am–4pm. Cost is $40 and booking need to be made via the Facebook event page, where you can see more details of what is to be covered. For more details, contact Doug Eacersall

End of year dinner Wednesday 19 December

The date and time have been set for the Club’s end of year function. For those of you not on Facebook, we will be heading out to dinner next Wednesday at 6.30 pm. We will be confirming today the availability of Kajoku to host the event, but in all likelihood we will be celebrating there again this year.  

Once again I would ask that people put on their thinking caps to come up with some awards to note the highlights for this year. Award nominations can be sent to If you could also RSVP by Wednesday so that we can provide firm numbers/booking later this week.  

Thanks to the cleaning crew!

I would like to express a quick round of thanks to everyone who gave up their Sunday afternoon to come in and set the MEAC up for the school holidays.  

Callum, Kateena, Lachlan, Sean, Sian, Sylvianne, Tracy and I have given the storage area a mop and tidy, sorted through our “odds and sods” boxes, cleaned both sides of the mats, cleaned the toilet area (thanks especially Callum), dusted around those neglected areas in the main hall (thanks especially Sylvianne), and set things up for the next few weeks. 

Many thanks to Eric who came in earlier to give the whole MEAC hall a good mopping down, making our job far easier to manage. 

Some house keeping to be mindful of over the summer break:

  • As the primary users of the space till the end of January, everyone is responsible for maintaining the general cleanliness and tidyness of the space. If you see something that is out of place and/or dirty, take it on yourself to rectify it. This is especially true in the toilet area. 
  • Be prepared to make yourself available to do at least two more thorough clean of the space before school starts — at a minimum before keiko hajime (after our Christmas/New Year break) and just before school goes back when we have to pack away the mats. We all ought be invested in handing back the space at the end of January in as best condition as we can.  
  • Use of foot ware is mandatory outside the red border in the main hall  especially if you are entering the toilet area. 

Thanks again everyone, and I must say that I am very much looking forward to training tonight on a sparkly clean surface!  

Things on this week ...

We are almost at the end of the school year, which will bring with it some changes to the rhythm of classes at BBRD. We are intending to have a clean of the MEAC on Saturday, especially a thorough mop down of the floor before we lay down our mats for the summer holidays, and a comprehensive organisation of the storage area, including a check of the kendo equipment now that we have an additional set of shelves to store them on. We will be doing so from 2 pm Saturday, so it would be great to see as many hands on deck to facilitate that. As a result, we will not be doing any Jujutsu training Saturday, and may be a little delayed with Kendo training depending on how efficiently we work. 

I am also looking to set up some lunch time training sessions for Jujutsu, hopefully starting this week based on the logistics at the PCYC. I will try to have more clarity about times/costs later today, so will let folk know at training tonight. 

Eric and I have also started to do some Jodo Kihon on a Monday before FlexiFit, so if you are interested in learning more about the Jo, you can always come and give it a go!  

Arnis will be on Wednesdays now before Jujutsu (5-6 pm), and will remain so till I head back to Bundaberg in mid-March.  

It is great to hear that numbers are returning for Michael C’s Systema class on Tuesday nights, and depending on numbers, we may look to reopening the Saturday sessions as well.  

And if folk are up for a game of Go on Tuesday (12.30-1.30 pm negotiable) please let me know. I will be setting up some boards then to see if we can get a few more summer takers.  



Club member’s success at the QKR Summer seminar and Grading

It is always good to come back home from the annual QKR summer seminar and grading, as it forms a well punctuated stop to the formal “away” committments we have for the year. This of course gives us an opportunity to reflect on the year past, and the achievements attained in that time. 

This seminar brought both success and opportunities to extend our knowledge in equal measure. The headline is that both Kateena and Sean successfully challenged for 2Kyu in Kendo and I was able to pass 2Dan in Iaido. Kateena in particular was impressive in managing to receive a double grade from a panel that was reluctant to award them. 

There were many highlights this year, including seeing Kuramochi Sensei from Cairns for the first time in a number of years, Itakura Sensei showing the value of continually learning by successfully challenging for his first Iaido grading, and the first Jodo session held at a seminar in many years — and we can only hope for more on all those fronts! Many thanks to the tireless efforts of all those who were responsible for the organisation and execution of the weekend, especially Tom Sensei and Tamura Sensei, Dale for managing the reception desk, and Dave F for his efforts sorting the grading registrations table. Thanks too for all senior sensei who formed grading panels, and all sempai in motodachi and marshalling roles. 

As always, we also enjoyed a marvellous weekend away, with Sian and Tracy coming with us from Toowoomba, and Tamara waving the Gin Gin flag. What I love about the QKR community is the genuine friendliness and heartfelt camaraderie expressed by everyone there. It is a joy to be part of such a welcoming and supportive group, and a space where we are all positively helping to improve our own practice and facilitate the improvements in others. And a special mention goes to the Air BnB accomodation, which managed to throw up a spectacular view, comfy beds, and a wonderfully appointed kitchen space to cook in. 

We certainly missed our absent friends, in particular Minty, off getting married in Japan, Maaike, attending her sister’s wedding (seems to be the season), and Matt, having been told to cultivate pinapples, unable to make it to the other end of the State for the occasion. What brings their absence into focus is of course their presence twelve months ago, and the contributions made, particularly by Minty, to the success enjoyed by Kateena and Sean. 

So onwards to next year! On this trajectory, I would fully hope for a crop of 1DANs across Kendo and Iaido by the time I write up the  2019 seminar report. And with luck we may see the numbers attending from the BBRD diaspora increase. It will be a year of solid work ahead of us, but something that everyone has more than amply demonstrated their capacity for.  


What’s on this week

There are a few things of note this week in the Dojo. First up as a reminder, we will be heading away this Friday to go down to the Coast and participate at the QKR seminar and grading opportunity at Tallebudgera. This will mean that there is no Saturday training at the MEAC. 

Additionally, Holy Name is having its end of year concert on this Thursday , and the MEAC will be unavailable for training. Please talk with you or discipline coordinators to see if there are alternative training arrangements for you. 

Finally, if folk are free around 4.30pm today (Monday) we have to pack the dojo stores from the items that went travelling with us this weekend, and have a new shelf to erect to put away both the Fencing and Kendo equipment more neatly. I will be getting there with the trailer at that time so that it makes for minimal interruption to regular training. 

In the next Budo Bulletin, we will be announcing details for the Club’s end-of-year function and 10th Anniversary celebrations. I’d ask that everyone put their thinking cap on, and come up with some creative awards that we can give out to members past and present to commemorate the occasion!

Weekend wrap up

It was a privilege to travel up to Gin Gin this weekend and participate in the inaugural Regional Queensland “have a go” Japanese martial arts weekend. The Toowoomba cohort was filled out by Tracy, Jack, Sean T and Kateena, who worked hard in the heat and humidity of the weekend to do the Club proud and promote the arts that we love. It was also lovely to meet those that travelled from Gladstone to participate in the Judo activities on Sunday. 

Many thanks to Tamara Kelly, and Ivan and Liz Hills for all of their efforts to make the weekend possible. We will be looking to do a similar event in the New Year, so do watch this space!

Training going forward over the next fortnight

Tomorrow night ought to see Michael C back at the MEAC teaching Systema after a disrupted few months. Everyone who has expressed interest in trying Systema or coming back to training is strongly encouraged to come along this Tuesday evening to give it a go.

Second, for those that may have missed the announcement, Fencing will go into recess for the rest of this year. Michael S is currently involved with accreditation commitments in Ipswich for the next month, and is unlikely to be able to make it back to Toowoomba in time for classes. We will look forward to it restarting after Christmas.

Third, there will be no Jujutsu or Kendo training for the next two Saturdays. This weekend, we are up in Gin Gin in support of the Japanese Martial Arts festival, and the following weekend we are down at Tallebudgera attending the QKR Summer Seminar (and grading opportunity).

After that point, school holidays are almost upon us, and we will be providing a Summer training schedule as soon as that becomes clearer.

Gin Gin Japanese Martial Arts Friendly Weekend

The Gin Gin Japanese Martial Arts Friendly weekend is on this Saturday and Sunday, with a bunch of Toowoomba-based BBRD members heading up to support the event. Sessions will begin 10.30am Saturday, with Kendo, Iaido and Jujutsu, followed by Judo training and a friendly Judo competition on Sunday.

The Saturday session is $10 for the whole day, and is structured as a “have a go” for both absolute beginners and experienced martial artists alike. It will be held in the National Fitness Hall, corner of the Bruce Highway (Mulgrave Street) and Walker Street, just opposite the Gin Gin Police Station. Sunday’s proceedings will be held at the Gin Gin Primary School’s Hallare $15 to participate, and includes lunch.

We will be doing a small dojo pack-up in Toowoomba Friday afternoon to take some gear in support of the weekend, and the main group heading up will be leaving Toowoomba around 5.30 am to make sure that we are there with plenty of time to set up.

As a result there will be no training at the MEAC in Toowoomba this weekend or the next with QKR Seminar on).

I am personally very much looking forward to the weekend, and I’d encourage the BBRD community to either come in support if you can, or to encourage folk who are close to the event to come and give it a try!