It’s hard to believe it has been over a week now since we left our home in Canada. We travelled 10,000km to Omagari, Japan to train with the rest of our Seiwa Kai family. Welcoming us with open arms, it would be six long days and thirty hours of sweat, sweat, and more sweat before the end of our training together.Read more
We could not have asked for a more perfect Sunday during our Friends and Family BBQ. Clear skies, warm weather, delicious food, and most importantly everyone who could make it out!
Here are just a few snippets from last Sunday’s (July 8th) BBQ at Shades Mill Conservation Area in Cambridge, Ontario.
This month I (Sensei James) would like to nominate Ethan as the Student of the Month for his generosity and humble sportsmanship during his first tournament with the Ontario Karate Federation. For those of you who could not attend October’s recreational tournament or had to leave early before Ethan’s division was up, him and I were watching while another young student was competing. Within this division it is required to be equipped with protective gear and something to distinguish which colour you are (blue – ao or red – aka in karate).
This young boy did not have blue gear or a chest protector. About to be disqualified because of this, I stood up and asked Ethan if we could use his gear and without hesitation he took it off to lend to the other athlete. Because of this, the young boy was able to finish his match without being disqualified.
This is a great example of a true athlete and it is why we do what we do. Great job Ethan!
The day starts with the sun barely up and you begin to make your long drive to the venue. When you arrive you walk through the doors to hear nothing but commotion as each competitor makes their way to compete. And even though you are tired and you know it’s going to be a long day, it is always exciting to be there.
October 22, 2017 marked the first time any of our students would compete on the mats themselves in the recreational division with the Ontario Karate Federation. A longer day for some, but exciting all the same!
First we had our 6-9 year olds compete in kata (a series of moves put into a pattern) and kumite (or sparring). And even though they were nervous, they pulled it off and showed the other competitors they meant business. Afterwards, our 10-12 year old students made it to the mats and managed to make it to the second round. They certainly moved like true athletes.
When Liam went up to compete in the 13-14 year kata, we fell silent. He didn’t just win his first round, or his second, but managed to attain a silver medal. A first for him and our club! Excited, we cheered and a proud mum and dad could be heard across the room.
And that was just a start.
Our second winner was Nick who brought home a bronze in kumite. Our girls Amie, Olivia, and Alyssa also managed to bring home a couple more bronze, silver, and even gold medals in kata and kumite! They were forces to be reckoned with.
But congratulations again to all of our competitors who came out to test their skills and who gave it their all. Thank-you to all of the parents who invested a whole Sunday to cheer on their little ones as well as Jeric and Jamie-lynn (plus Brad!) for coming out to assist Sensei James while we had multiple rings going on at once. To our fellow friends who provided us with the proper equipment when we needed it. It’s great to know everyone is there to support one another. And lastly, thank-you to the organizers/volunteers who managed to pull-off another wonderful competition.
Congratulations to all of those who had gone for their next belt level! After taking the time to reflect on the ones who we tested I wanted to share with you my decision making process. And if you’re considering the next belt test, the time to start training is now! Read what we’ve just posted below and let us know if you have any questions.
So you want to go for your next belt level? It’s not that easy… well it is but only if you put in the work.
Every three to four months we host a belt exam. Within those three months (depending on your belt level) you are being taught and corrected on all of your techniques; whether it is your basic punches, kicks, blocks, and stances or your kumite (sparring), kata (patterns), or bunkai (self-defence tactics).
But other factors contribute to our decision process.
Your attitude plays a big role on our decision making. Someone who comes to class every time, ready to train, and puts in 110% within the hour has the right mindset. But sometimes we get that person in class who only goofs off, then that hour goes to waste and they think because they put in the right amount of time, they deserve a belt. Unfortunately we don’t work that way! (Sorry to break it to you)
Each belt introduces a new technique while old ones get better and better. Like a fine wine, it just gets better with age.
Sometimes previous experience plays a role in your belt exam. If you had been training in another martial art, it can transcend and aid you in the belt exam process. But sometimes this only lasts for so long. There may be a point where you no longer excel and need to take a little more time to master the new techniques you’re learning.
How Often You Train:
How much do you actually practice? Seriously, ask yourself that question. After training for as long as we have, we can see who actually puts the time and effort in. Whether you train just the 2-3 days a week or you actually put in a fourth day or even an extra 10 minutes each and every day. It certainly doesn’t go unnoticed, and remember… practice makes perfect!
Length of Time:
How long have you been training? Belt exams aren’t mandatory for everybody. A certain length of time is required before going for your next belt, but sometimes it takes a little longer for others or sometimes it takes less time. Contributing factors? All of the reasons listed above!