It is always a pleasure to come away from a weekend feeling successful and enthused. The past weekend spent on the Gold Coast was highly informative, considerable fun, and certainly successful, so ticked all the boxes indicating a brilliant weekend away.
I would first like to thank all of the sensei who generously provided their time and attention to ensure that we were able to make those critical breakthroughs to our practice. Specifically, Itakura, Isaacs, and Tamura sensei, provided their erudite input for Kendo, and T. Tsukadaira, Kolb, H. Tsukadaira, Sugio, and Johnson sensei patiently continued to polish our performance and understanding of the Iaido kata. Extra thanks go to Tamura and Johnson sensei for undertaking all of the administrative burden that means the rest of us can simply enjoy the weekend and concentrate on our practice.
All BBRD members were successful in their attempts at grade, with Sian Carlyon attaining nikyu in Iaido, Matt G. with nikyu in both Iaido and Kendo, and myself meeting the standard required for ikkyu in Iaido. Sian was even the recipient of a well deserved (and rare) compliment from Isaacs sensei for her performance of the standing variation of the Iaido kata.
It was also wonderful just to spend time with good folk in the down time. It feels like a blessing to have the opportunity to be around good and decent people, and it is a reminder of why I have always though myself luck to have been a part of the Kendo and Iaido community over the past years.
Our next opportunity to head to the Coast for some RnR and budo will be toward the end of September in support of the University Games. The QKR is organizing the Kendo competition, and will require a small army of volunteers to assist, so you don't have to be a kendoka to help out! I will be organizing things from the USQ end over the coming weeks, but do let me know if you are interested in assisting, and in being a part of the event.