Below is an article written by Darren Holloway. It is a reflection on his training in Aikido so far and written following his achievement of Shodan.
Black belt!! … Finally yeah😀Black belt … Just the beginning 😩…
For myself personally it has never been about the black belt. The training is what keeps me coming back each and every week. The variety and the many different techniques is always challenging but satisfaction is guaranteed if the will is there.
For myself it began 4 years ago, when one day I was out running and past what is now our old Dojo in Bulcock Street. I noticed the sign on the window and rang Ryan Sensei when I got home and started training that week.
Back then there were 3 students and 1 training session a week. 12 months later 2 classes then later a 3rd as the number of students grew to where we are today with over 15 students training on a regular basis.
Aikido to me will always mean Harmony. Harmony with Uke or Shite. Harmony with those around me in life.
The challenges with training in Aikido will be constant, but this is what will keep bringing me back week after week. While they are the challenges personally, it is the people/ students who make our Dojo. The sense of community and spirit among students. I believe this is unique in Aikido and even more unique in our relatively new Dojo.
As I said in the beginning, while it has never been about the black belt it is a very rewarding and humbling achievement after the years and training.
I would like to thank Greg and John for their patience with me over the past couple of years. I have learnt a lot of them, but most of all I have learnt how much I don’t know!!
A final thankyou to Ryan Sensei and Cindy. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.
I have the privilege of saying I’m an original student of the Dojo and along with Sean the first Black Belts under Ryan Sensei. Yippee!!!