With only a few hours left in 2017, it's good to look back at the adventure that it has been. We have shared some terrific experiences this year, including:
- two new nidans in Sempai Matt and Sempai Mary
- three new shodans in Sempai Lianne, Sempai JI, and Sempai Andrew
- numerous other belt promotions
- The Kyiv Experience
- Spring Gashuku at Mount St. Joes
- Fall Gashuku on the beach in New Jersey
- Sempai Austin's semester in Chile
- the new Free Parent Program
- Wednesday night fight class, led by Sempai Matt
- visits from Shihan Melanson and Shihandai Mazur
There was also a great deal of success in those areas which are more difficult to measure. There are no belts for growing confidence, or stripes for courage. We don't have trophies for every small achievement. There was much growth this year. I'm proud to say the least.
In talking with the other yudansha, we all agree on one very specific highlight of the year: Abby's yellow belt test. THAT was an inspirational day for sure, and it captured everything that we are about: hard work, perseverance, and perfection of character through hard training.
2017 was a great year. Can't wait to see what 2018 has in store.