We are back in chilly Toowoomba this morning after another highly successful excursion to participate in the QKR winter seminar, grading opportunity, and State Championships. As always, it has been a challenging, fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved who made the trip down to the Gold Coast.
This year we had six participants from Toowoomba and two from our sister Club in Gin Gin. For Hernan, Ivan, and Tamara it was their first experience of the broader Kendo and Iaido community here in Queensland, and it was wonderful to welcome them into the fold. I will look forward to seeing them participate at future events. Everyone there commented on how useful the seminar was to their personal practice, and how welcoming everyone was to folk just starting their kendo and iaido journey.
The Club did itself proud in the State Championship. In the Open Kyu competition, Sean T was 2nd placed, and Kateena third placed (Jack Dye from Kenshinkai managing to pip them for first place). Both played well above the level that is often expected at their grade, and this drew many compliments from senior sensei. Minty and I were knocked out at the pool level by the eventual winner of the Open Dan competition, and friend of the Club, Atsushi Sataka. In the Open Dan, Sorin Pienaru was 2nd place (Kenshinkai), and Ryo Atsumi 3rd.
Sean T and Kateena were the only Club members challenging for grades this weekend, and both were successful— Sean managing to double grade to 3KYU and Kateena being awarded 4KYU despite suffering from a horrendous migraine. Both did themselves and the Club proud with their performance.
The next major event on the QKR calendar will be the Australian University Championships, which the Club will be going down to support, and then the Summer Seminar. We will post details for both when they become available.