Saturday’s Kendo event was a reminder for me of the depth and value in the Club’s sense of community, and the embodiment of the notion #KendoIsFor Life .
On a misty Saturday morning, we managed to:
- Have the first organised gathering of kendoka from outside the Toowoomba region since 2012
- Organise the very first regional KYU grading to be held in Queensland
- Successfully grade two Club members who had both taken extended breaks from their Kendo journey
- See the return of Kendoka that have been away for a few years
- Introduce the discipline to new community members and help them take their first steps (and swings).
The success of events like this hinges on the generosity of many people donating their time and efforts to bring it to fruition. So in a list that might rival an acting awards speech: To John Isaacs sensei for enthusiastically supporting the event from its inception, teaching two sessions of kendo and being the head of the grading panel; to Dave Fitz, Sorin P, and Ryo A for taking the roles of sempai, motodachi and grading constituents that allowed for the KYU grade to occur; to Nash and Anna who came up for the day in support of the event; to Tracy, Geoff, Eric, Brady and Kesh who provided vital support on the day, from photos to lunch fetching, to venue set up through to dog wrangling— we could not have done it without you; to Peter Mc and Randy L for dusting off the bogu and providing vital assistance in crowd wrangling and motodachi work for the “Have a Goers”; to Sian, Sean T, Suren and Kateena for throwing themselves into near three hours of training with Isaacs sensei; and to the community who came in to support, including Jack B, giving it a go! (And yes even Arron T for popping in and saying hello!)
I also wanted to thank St Ursula’s for allowing us the use of the Salo Centre for the event. It is the first time that I have used the facility, and I must say what a joy it was to train on a clean, properly sprung wooden floor for the day, and it would be lovely to have the opportunity to do so again in the near future.
In addition to the pleasure in seeing the day come together, I must make mention of my joy in seeing Sian successfully grade to 3KYU and Sean T to 5KYU. Both have had disrupted Kendo journeys and their success can be seen as the culmination of significant amounts of hard work over recent months. With renewed focus, I hope that both of you continue to progress in the near future, with the ultimate aim of having more yudansha level practitioners here in the district.
So back to the ordinary but serious business of every day Kendoka practice. Our next scheduled trip down to Brisbane to train with Kenshinkai members will be Saturday 7 April (the weekend after Easter/Australian Kendo Championships), where hopefully we might have a few of the community “converts” to come down and join us. Training will be as usual for this week (Tuesday 7.30 pm and Sunday 10 am at the MEAC), and as mentioned elsewhere, we will be modifying training times from next week to accomodate my study schedule. In addition to folk we can entice at the Club Muster Day on Wednesday, I’m confident that we can build on a great start to the year and see a renaissance of Kendo in the district.