With school holidays over and the University semester starting today, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome everybody back to "regular programming" and the opportunity to refocus, reset and recommit to their studies and training.
The second half of the year has a number of regular Club commitments for public engagement and "out of town" activities. The first will be this Wednesday at the Toowoomba Campus from 10am–2pm as a part of the Club's Muster during the common hour. We will be set up inside the Refectory and will not be doing any demonstrations requiring a matted area, though a couple of noisy bouts of kirikaieshi might be in order to see if we can generate a few more Kendo practitioners. If you can help out by staffing our stall for a while and talking to the crowd, please let me know ASAP.
Next on the list is the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival on Sunday 20 August. The Festival is an opportunity to have a all day training experience while showcasing what we love to the wider Toowoomban community. It is one event where we generate new members year on year, and a little bit of a buzz around the martial arts. I'm looking forward to the addition of Taiko Drums this year!
The Sunday after (Augst 27) we will be travelling to Brisbane to attend the International Budo Federation's training day. This will be the third year that the Club will be participating, and the second year that I will be teaching one of the sessions.
The next big event will be the Australian University Games, where the budo events will be held on the weekend of the 23 and 24 of September. AUG will from this year be permenantly located on the Gold Coast, rather than every second year. This will make it much easier for USQ squads to develop a little bit of momentum and garner more competition experience. You don't have to be a competitor to come and enjoy the weekend. There is a need for volunteers of all capacity to help with both the Kendo and Judo competitions. And with both being co-located at the Carrara Stadium sporting complex, it will be much easier to get across and support both competitions.
Finally, there are some rumblings that we may be hosting the QKR's December seminar and grading here in Toowoomba this year. It has been almost five years since we last hosted the event, and it would be great to see some of the North Queensland contingent make it down for a weekend of Kendo, Iaido, and possibly Jodo.
There will no doubt be a whole lot more to pack into the rest of this year. This includes regular scheduled trips to Brisbane to train with the Kenshinkai in Kendo, trips to Pine Mountain to train Iaido and Kyudo with Kohokai, opportunities to train with various Ittoshinkan sensei, including Don Ouellette and Jason Griffiths, and another Dojo Open Day/taste tester to encourage more folk to join in the fun. We will le you know what we have planned as soon as the details become more clear. Keep reading the Budo Bulletin for more information.
So I wish everyone the best for the weeks ahead! Have fun, be productive, get some rest (somewhere), and I hope that you will all reap the benefit of time well spent.