This May long weekend was spent in Guelph, Ontario. Besides catching up with friends, a focal point was Jodo grading. It was the first time in 7 years that upper levels could grade within Canada and I feel fortunate that I was there for it.
I also passed my grading challenge and now hold an ikkyu rank. The martial arts I practice are weapons based and don’t follow a coloured belt system. Ikkyu is like brown belt, which seems high when looking at karate, but it is shodan (1st black) and above where the most learning happens.
Jodo is an art form that involves partnering up. One uses the sword and the other a jo.
Mistakes were made, but I didn’t get flustered by them. I just continued. Part way through, when seeing my partner do jo side, I realized I didn’t remember doing pieces. But it didn’t matter. It was what it was and I was in the moment completely focused on my partner, which is good because the judge’s table was awfully close by.
I’m thankful to Jarvie Sensei and my senpais Salhani, Green, and Wilson for helping me prepare. There were four of us challenging ranks and we were all successful!
I couldn’t have done it without a partner who was as equally vested in passing, so I’m thankful to him.
I’m also thankful to Taylor Sensei and all the members of Sei Do Kai for making this grading happen. They all worked very hard to organize the seminar and grading.
I’m thankful to the visiting Sensei for traveling halfway across the world. I truly enjoyed getting instruction from Mansfield Sensei and Buxton Sensei. Their teachings have helped me improve tremendously in a short time. Two key things I learned were to be soft at times and to believe I can do it no matter how big my opponent might be.
More to come on the seminar in the days ahead. Right now, I need food and to relax.