Toowoomba Language & Cultural Festival

Sunday was the Language & Cultural Festival. Despite it being a very windy and cold day, the sun was out and we managed to find a space that was largely out of the wind.

Aiado, kendo, jujitsu, fencing and jodo put on demonstrations throughout the day, and taiko performed on the stage.

I would like to thank all who helped on Saturday loading in and who helped on Sunday with setting up, demonstrating, helping with the stall and tearing down…the day wouldn't have went as well without them.

Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival

This Sunday (11 August) is the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival.

BBRD will again be having the demonstration area and booth at the festival. In addition the taiko group will be giving a performance at 2:30 at the Good Will Stage.

We will be giving demonstration of the different arts practised at BBRD throughout the day. If you would like to help out or participate in the demonstrations please contact your instructor.

Hope to see everybody there.


Hello all,

USQ had their Student Life Expo which we had an area set up at. I would like to thank Sian, Kateena and Tracy for helping out on the day. We had significant student interest considering the number of students walking around on campus.

Other events that are approaching are the Toowoomba Language and Cultural Festival on 11 August - looking forward to everyone coming to help out at it - where the taiko group will be performing on stage. Also coming up is the taiko group performing at the Japanese Gardens on 21 September during Toowoomba’s Festival of Flowers. The rest of the club is invited to watch and demonstrate their arts as well.

See everybody at these events.


QKR Winter seminar wrap up

I’m quite time pressed this morning, having to get up to Bundaberg by 1 pm. However I can’t step off before providing a brief wrap up of the weekend just past. (Glorying in a proud Sensei moment)

In short, the weekend was an amazing success on all levels. It has been the highest attended State-level event in many years, with Kendo, Iaido and Jodo all being well represented.

As a Club we had some wonderful successes. Grading results:

From Toowoomba, Kateena and Sean T were both successful in challenging for 1KYU, and Sean Mc (still an honorary Toowoomban) met the challenge for his long overdue Shodan.

We also saw the first gradings from Go Gin Club. Ivan achieved Iaido 3KY and Kendo: 5KYU; and Tamara her Iaido 3KYU.

Well done guys. You have done yourselves proud!

Amazing efforts made in supporting the group house and the event by everyone there — those mentioned above as well as Sian, Tracy, Jones, Isaacs sensei, Matt Cooper (successful for his 2DAN Kendo). Many thanks to all those who organised the event, especially Tom Johnson sensei!

Will write more later. Must rush.

Will look forward to training with you this week!

A note for Sempais in all disciplines

The following is an extract from an article written by Glen Henry Sensei of Chushinkan Dojo on the role of sempai:


Katachi Tadashi Karabe Kage Naoshi - If the form is correct the shadow will follow

As students progress and aspire to be instructors it is easy to lose focus on what a good Sempai should provide to those following.

Some believe that they should “defeat” all they train with and thus show they are superior against lower level students, others feel they have the right to teach there own version of a technique despite having a “Sensei” who teaches it a certain way, or to question that way … and others display mannerisms which are elitist and less humble than what should be the case. (Blog author’s note: some sempai will also not apply the proper targeting and/or intensity in their instruction to kohai [some with the belief that doing so will not lead to injuries], which will lead to the kohai learning improper techniques).

These things are not uncommon as progress in the technical elements can bolster ones ego and the lamentable characteristics afore mentioned are displayed.

Real progress toward becoming a teacher and being recognised as such comes when the student firstly focuses on the phrase at the start of this article. Some will immediately think that the “form” is the physical performance of the technique, but in reality it is more encompassing. Of course the physical technique must be exemplary, and this requires continuous self assessment and acceptance of correction by their sensei, in his way.

He may show various ways depending on the student, and he may explain the context for the variation, what the scenario may be for doing that way, but there will always be a “basic” way, the one which is what should be taught to all students from the start. It is important for the aspiring instructor to remember that technique, because when the sensei puts the responsibility on a senior to assist a new student, that is what he expects seniors to teach.

Seniors should also refrain from teaching what they are not ready or able to teach.

This last point leads to humility, and the acceptance that although a lot of progress has been made by someone, they need to be very careful on how they “teach/assist” a less advanced student.

It is the … word … Gojo that sets apart the person who is ready to become the teacher. Comprehension and practice of the tenets of Gojo are the real form of the teacher, and it was this point that was explained in some detail to me on receipt of the Oku Iri of SMR.

When I was first given the “lecture” on this I thought, that should be easy to follow, 5 simple ideals common sense values I understand. How wrong could I be??

The difficulty is expressing those ideals on a daily basis, and especially during the pressure of teaching. The frustrations waiting for a beginner to get the technique, the continuous corrections to give for weeks, months and years that follow, the opportunity to train regularly with higher levels at higher levels becomes either irregular or a distant past. The only thing to focus on—the Kihon, the basic forms of the Ryu, to become absorbed in them with the goal of perfecting them alone. Not to defeat the beginner, not to train at full speed and power, not train for yourself; no, you must give over to the student so that he may succeed. You must show patience, humility, acceptance of their efforts and be prepared to provide the best possible model as the image to be copied.

You must become the shadow of your own teacher, such as that experienced people will easily recognise who was your teacher.

This is no easy task, and it requires many years of practice to fully understand, and absorb these concepts and to put them into practice.

USQ Student Life Expo

Hello All,

This Wednesday (17 July) is the USQ Student Life Expo in Toowoomba. The expo will run from 10 am to 2 pm. BBRD has participated in this event over the years and it would be good if we can make a good presence at the event this year. If you can help out with demonstrations or manning the information table we will have set up, please let Eric know either by e-mail at or by SMS at 0410 475 447



Mats up for school contractor clean

Holy Name Catholic Primary School has scheduled its pre-term clean of the MEAC for Wednesday this week. As a result we will have to put away the tatami tomorrow night (Tuesday). This will align with the new arrangements to shift the Jujutsu class to a Tuesday night on an as-needed basis so that we are maximising the benefit of using the MEAC for multiple disciplines.

I am aware that there are few people available for training, but it would be most appreciated if we could get one or two of you in for 6 pm to assist me. I shall be there from around 5 pm to do a small audit of the Club’s first aid kit and equipment, and if we have some interest in a Jujutsu class, we can run one before we pack things away.

QKR Winter Seminar arrangements

We are now less than a week out from the winter seminar, and this year it is shaping up to be a big event.

We will be sharing accomodation with folk from the Kenshinkai (Brisbane) dojo and former Toowooomba member Sean Mc, and feeding a multitude on Friday night, including members from our sister dojo Ken Jin Kan (Gin Gin) in what is shaping up to be fun night in with plenty of paella and polish pickles on offer.

I want to wish all the best to everyone who will be grading this weekend, especially for Tamara and Ivan who will be grading for the first time. Also to Kateena and Sean T who are challenging for 1KYU., and Sean Mc for a (very long overdue) tilt at kendo shodan. Gambatte!

We will be finalising transport (and food shopping) arrangements over the next couple of days, so I will direct message those details as they become solid.

Just a reminder that there will be no training on offer this weekend coming as a result of us being down the Coast. We will be back to our new regular schedule from next week.

QKR: 2 weeks out

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to say that we’ve done awesome this year so far with our numbers growing and a real effort put in to improving everyone’s kendo. I want to touch base on a few things, First the deadline for QKR Membership application/renewal has passed and the same goes for grading application. As it has been stated many times if you haven’t lodged these by now you will lot be elegable to participate in the seminar or challenge for a new grade. Now that i have the administrative stuff out of the way i am excited to say that according to Auspost our Tozando shipment should be delivered today. i will be making another order after the seminar for anything people may have missed with the first one.

Participants at the SEQ June Mini seminar

Participants at the SEQ June Mini seminar

Finally a bit of old news. Last Sunday saw the Second QKR SEQ monthly mini seminar, this time at the Logan metro sports center. I must say it really improved on the first one stayed on track and covered a lot. There was a good turnout (although a little smaller than the first) it have been green lit for this series of seminars to continue into the future. Kateena , Michael B and Myself were all set to head down but unfortunately illness scratched Kateena and Michael B out. unfortunately the QKR has decided not to continue with the program but will be offered by Kenshinkan at a club level with an open invite to those from other clubs who wish to receive extra practice.

I think that is all i have so have a great week and hope to see everyone in the Dojo.

Sean T

Kendo Coordinator

QKR deadlines for this week

The end of this week coincides with both the end of the Financial Year and the end of the QKR membership year. It is also going to be two weeks before the grading opportunity that will be held on Sunday 14 July. 

As a matter of urgency, if you have not made your renewal for the 2019-2020 year, please ensure you do this before Friday. Likewise, if you intend to grade, then you need to get me to electronically sign off on your grading form (Kendo and Iaido) before Friday so that they can be lodged with Tom sensei and properly processed.  

If you are not a financial member, you cannot participate at the QKR seminar. If your paperwork is not lodged two weeks prior to the grading, you will not be allowed to sit for examination.  

Tom sensei has been utterly consistent with both points over the years, something I fully support. If you have any questions about your membership status, please contact me today so that I can clarify with Tom sensei and we can make sure that everything is sorted before Friday’s deadline.