Last Tuesday afternoon our Judo club was proud to celebrate its fifth graduation day, with eight students attaining the rank of Fifth Dan and the highest rank of achievement provided by the club. Our graduation ceremony began with some words of appreciation from our head instructor, Kathy Sato; then commenced to a demonstration of all the students’ skills, one last two-minute sparring session the graduates would have with each other as students, closing remarks from junior head instructor Bobby and then a barbecue, where we played a game of frisbee!
The 2016 graduates of the Judo club have each been training for more than five years, putting in a lot of effort and hard work into attaining their personal goal. Together they have learned the values of discipline, control and perseverance. They diligently pursued their passion while juggling work, school and family. These families proudly attended the graduation to see the students at their finest, as they proved the merits of all those years of hard work.
Although it was graduation, we still manage to do some action, check it out:
When asked, the students enthusiastically talked about how they wanted to continue applying their studies. Two had already spoken with Ms. Sato about staying on as junior instructors, teaching more members of the Judo club. Two, including Bella Rigel who has already won a senior third-kyu regional tournament in 2013, plan on joining international championships. Simon, our oldest graduate, simply sees the attainment of 5th Dan as a personal goal that has been achieved, and is happy to stop there, while Kenji and Robin want to pursue further leaning in Judo and achieve the levels beyond 5th Dan, with ambition to reach the highly-coveted 1st Dan sometime in the future. Amy, one of the youngest graduates, hopes to focus on her own studies abroad but intends to look for somewhere she can still practice her skills. Almost all of our graduates joked about ‘running away and forming a ninja coven,’ which only proves how close they have all become in their years training alongside one another.
We wish our Fifth Dan Graduates all the best, from the Judo Club!