On Sunday we had the traditional dojo cleaning and kyu exam combo. As always, we scrubbed, dusted, shined and re-organised to our heart’s content. Who ever knew our windows could be so clear?! The dojo looks brand new again, so thank you to everyone who chipped in.
At 16:00 sharp the exams began, this time in a slightly different format and with a new kyu system in place. Patty and James judged the lower kyus and Francisca Sensei and Robert Sensei examined the higher kyus. Master of ceremony Ilja kept the proceedings on track using two watches and a bronze bell.
While the exam board was deliberating, Erik, Arnoud and Ilja gave a short demonstration of sword katas from the Kashima school, which we practice on Thursdays and Sundays. These lessons complement one’s Aikido practice, so everyone is encouraged to try them out.
Then it was the time for that most anticipated of moment: the results. Everyone got personal feedback from the exam board and some suggestions for further learning. As it emerged that everyone had passed, nervousness gave way to joy and pleasure. It was wonderful to see how everyone had progressed!
- Miguel, Emiel, Felix, Ron, Raymond and Frederik (6th kyu)
- Lei Yan, Alain (5th kyu)
- Peggy, Arnoud and Felicia (4th kyu)
- Erik (3rd kyu, so he now gets to wear hakama)
- Monique and Ashika (2nd kyu)
Once the official exam was over, there was time for the traditional communal meal. There were homemade dishes, delicious sweets and an assortment of drinks. It was a good way to end the day and to move into the last week of practice before the holidays.