Our first club grading of 2015 has come and gone … and it was a great success!
On the 23rd of May 2015, our students submitted to intense scrutiny from Sensei Eugene and some of the club’s black-belts and guess what? The students did their best and they made it – earning themselves their next belt level!
This may very well be one of the most mentally and physically challenging things you’ll ever do. It’s usually over in 15 minutes, but it takes months and even years of (often) blood, (always) sweat and (sometimes) tears to complete successfully.
I’m talking about your Shodan Grading!
This past weekend, the 14th of March 2015 to be exact, four from the Solis Ortus family were assessed and awarded with their Shodan or 1st Dan:
Marcel Wouda, Dewald Bekker, Liam van Rooyen and Morney Plescia.
This post is brief description of the run-up and the actual grading from a personal point of view – I hope it gives future Shodan candidates an idea of what to look forward to and work towards.
Welcome to this second installment of “Down Under”, where I relate my 2014 martial-arts training experience whilst I was visiting Australia’s incredible Sunshine Coast, in the state of Queensland.
As I mentioned in part 1 of this 2-part series, I had been asked to go to Australia by my company and ended up staying there for 4 months. During the first 2 months of my trip, I trained with Shihan Martin Day of Combat Karate. As I mentioned in part 1, it had been an incredible experience to learn from him, but I needed to get back into my Shotokan training since I wanted to stay current with my techniques – especially since I was planning on going for my Shodan (1st Dan) grading in 2015.
As exhilarating the experience of new and different things had been when at Combat Karate, during my first 2 months, so exhilarating also was the feeling of familiarity upon entering the Shotokan Karate-Do dojo, located in Coolum Beach – one of the most beautiful places on the Australian Sunshine Coast.
In August of 2014, I was fortunate enough to be asked to go to Australia by the company that I work for, to assist with a project. I was also blessed enough to be allowed to take my wife and children with me.
Since this was to be our second trip out to the land down under, in as many years, I decided that this time I would contact a martial arts club to see if I can continue training whilst out of South Africa and away from Solis Ortus, since I wanted to keep as fit as possible for my Shodan grading due in 2015.
Sensei Eugene has gracefully allowed me to do a two-part post about my experiences there relating to martial arts.
On Saturday, 25 January 2014 we had our open day for the public to join us in the dojo and see firsthand how we train and what we teach our students.
During our open day many new students registered to join the Solis Ortus family.
What was even more impressive is the amount of mommies and daddies registering with their children to start with the sport of karate. And I am proud to announce that our dojo’s veteran group does really well at the tournaments.
Saturday morning, 5 April 2014 10 brave warriors got together at 7 AM to go to the Irene Smuts House and compete in the Warrior Race. 6.5km and 17 obstacles awaited us all. We started at 9:50 and finished 2 hours and 20 minutes later. During this day we learnt that no warrior gets left behind and with the help of your team mates you can overcome any obstacle.
As you all now, we have started the 2nd quarter of this year with a bang with 3 tournaments behind us already and our fist club grading almost upon us (14 June 2014).
I have taken some time during the various tournaments to observe the students and their behaviour while participating and their reactions to winning and losing. In this regard, I want to ask each and every one of our students and their parents to read the following article, “Winning isn’t everything, but WANTING to win is by Vince Lombardi. Parents, please print this page and read it to your children.
On May 10th, 2014, Solis Ortus hosted its first JKA inter-club championship. Although it was a relatively small competition, it was nonetheless an exciting tournament with many talented karateka doing their thing!
We are proud of all the various divisions, from our junior belts to our senior belts, from the young ones to the older ones. Everybody did their best and demonstrated both good attitudes as well as good spirit.
We were recently lucky enough to have the Chief Instructor of SKIF (Shotokan Karate-do International Federation), Manabu Murakami Sensei, a 7th Dan, visit our dojo. This was the second time that we have had the opportunity to train with this master of Shotokan Karate and we were indeed very privileged to gain experience from his knowledge and training techniques.