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 TavennerBBRD@gmail.com 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. 

End of semester/term, training this week (and for the next few months).

I just wanted to congratulate everyone currently studying for having made it through your respective exam periods, and hope that your results reflect the work you have put into things over the past few months.  

I have a little more clarity around what my timetable will look like for the next few months. For me personally, I will be in Toowoomba for this week, then back in Bundaberg the week after, then a further week in Toowoomba leading up to the QKR seminar, and then will be commencing a university class for the coming Term that starts 9 am Monday, and where the last class finishes at 3 pm Thursday. This means leaving Sunday afternoons for the next few months. 

Most immediately, when in Toowoomba for this week and the week starting 8 July, I will be offering both Jujutsu (6 pm) and Kendo (7.40 pm) classes on Monday and Thursday. It would be great to see folk there for both sessions, especially given the proximity of the QKR seminar. 

Moving on from that, we will have to make some changes to the training offerings through the week. Currently, there are insufficient numbers to make up a Monday evening jujutsu class and make it viable, and we may look to run it parallel to Fencing on a Tuesday so that the few who would like to train can do so. Second, I cannot guarantee getting back to Toowoomba in time for a 6 pm start of a Thursday, so we may look to change the order of training to start with Kendo and finish with Jujutsu on alternating weeks so that I can provide some input across both of those classes. 

The other unfortunate casualty will be lunchtime Go sessions at USQ, unless someone else wishes to take on the mantle of coordinating those session. I will be taking a board up with me to Bundaberg and see if we can get some regular interest up there this term thought!  

For Gin Giners, we will be shifting Jujutsu to a Tuesday night after Judo, and staying with Kendo and Iaido on Wednesdays for the weeks that I am in the district. Beyond that, we will discuss the best training schedule going forward.  

So have fun everyone, and I’ll hope to see you soon at the respective dojo! 

Training this week

After a very intense week of assessment commitments last week, I have the relief of a week at home where I will be preparing for three end-of-Term examinations next week. It will allow me to catch up on a few bits and pieces here as well as give me the extra time/headspace to focus on my studies. 

While this means Gin Gin classes are on hiatus this week, I am planning to run both Jujutsu and Kendo classes tonight in the MEAC to make up for Saturday’s cancellation. It will be good to get some kendo training under our belts in preparation for the SEQ regional training session on the 23rd and the upcoming seminar in July, and to have a late kick off to our monthly focus on ne wasa in Jujutsu. 

Hope to see you in the dojo this evening, and later this week! 

Michael B