After finishing Day 1 of Camp Phoenix, I’m left in such a state of....I don’t know. I want to say that I’m so proud, but the thought of pride is so twisted nowadays. I want to say that I’m surprised…but I’m not. So, I’ll say that I am overjoyed…almost to tears at the work put in by the students in our dojo today.
For those outside of our world, “nidan” means nothing. To me (to us) nidan is a gatekeeper to the teaching/sensei ranks. Today I watched Sempai Mary and Sempai Matt completely crush their promotion tests. I can’t wait until tomorrow evening to welcome them into the higher ranks! They are like family. Matt is my Kyokushin brother and Mary is my Kyokushin sister.
Earning a black belt is a big deal. Even those who don’t practice martial arts know that the black belt is (hopefully) a sign of elitism. Lord willing, we will welcome three new students into that group tomorrow. Lianne, Andrew, and J.I. all rocked their kumite and breaking tests today. A few more trials tomorrow and then they will join an elite group of karateka.
Our brown belt tests were doggone show stopping this evening. As hard as today might have been though, they’ve got an entire year of trial and examination awaiting them.
Perhaps one of the most proud moments for me as Sensei was found in those students who came to this Camp Phoenix experience without the expectation to test. Each of these guys came in with an “empty cup” seeking to learn as much as possible today through the hours of kumite and kihon.
So, I’ll just sign off tonight by saying that I’m damn proud.
Proud to be a part of this organization.
Proud of my students.
Proud of my teachers.
Proud of the effort.
Proud of the amazing work ethic shown today.