Show what you can do (and it's much more than you and others tell you)

Summer meeting time again! This means that the summer holidays are just around the corner, and now the last effort must be put on top of all the efforts delivered throughout the season, on the way to a fantastic graduation. Or on the way to a fantastically satisfying and challenging end to the season. Vacation feels so much better after a good effort 🙂

And this summer convention is for full blast! The weather is fantastic, the room and the preparations are top-notch, and there are lots of good training buddies and friends. And Shindenkan's friends have cake for the break!

The first eager rally participants start arriving one hour before the start of the rally, ½ hour before check-in begins. There is definitely anticipation, joy, and a bit of nervousness.

During the next hour, everyone comes in, gets changed to gi and gets ready, so at 10:25 we line up ready for the start at 10:30 sharp.

True to tradition, Kimu Sensei welcomes and sets the stage. Because at this convention there are many who are set for graduation, also for the higher degrees – all the way up to black belt, Densho degree (the ancient degrees).

Kimu Sensei welcomes everyone, especially the new students. He talks about the journey the candidates for graduation have already been on, in their previous preparations. Especially the participants for the higher degrees, who at present have gone through the majority of their 7-10 stop tests before the entire graduation is completed. (See article on Brown and Black belt competition)

The convention manager gives practical information, the medical team is introduced, and the master motivator leads the Shindenkan song with his beautiful baritone, and then it's on.

Jens Hanshi-dai leads through the warm-up, after which everyone is divided into 2 groups, with competence courses in one part of the hall. In the other half of the hall, divide into groups according to degree, and then it just goes from there.

For beginners and the lower grades, series are trained. Sub-elements taken from advanced Katas, which students do not necessarily have prior knowledge of. They are first trained as Kihon, basic exercises standing and walking. Depending on degree/belt color and experience, the group does 2, 3, or even more exercises from the series, so that everyone is amply challenged. Knowledge of the techniques and routine in them is built up step by step, after which speed and intensity are added on top.

With the base well established, the techniques are put together in Shiho (technique in 4 directions) with turns, and focus – again built up step by step and with the number of techniques adapted to the students' experience.

It is the schooled approach, where you learn step by step, building on top of each other. Here at Shiho, we build directly on the base.

It requires concentration and focus, so that you catch the techniques and get them performed as they were demonstrated, get tested to see if you have it under control or if you need to improve now and then.

It is clear that it is indeed for everyone – at least there are JokoKidz (6-12 years), JokoTeens (13-14 years) and adults (15-??years) in several groups that give it gas. They have concentration painted on their faces, their tongues in the corners of their mouths, and occasionally a huge smile when the technique is in place – both their own, but also that of their training partners.

By looking at the 3 groups alternately, you can see how they, of all sizes, at each level do their best, and grow along the way. It provides a fantastic atmosphere and a learning environment where everyone can do much more than they thought. And a setting where the techniques that don't work perfectly is a great opportunity to learn more and get better.

They just exude that this, i can do that! And if I can't do it now, I will in a little while 🙂

In the other part of the hall, OBC competence certification will be carried out. Shindenkan is multi-tracked, with many skills, armed or unarmed, distance or melee. If that knowledge is to continue to be alive, and for the benefit of all, it must of course be maintained. This happens at the local and national OBC trainings, and NKT rehearsals. And today, after an involuntary Corona break, the annual recertifications in the courses are finally carried out, which is the final step in securing competences, and a prerequisite for graduation - that is, that you have maintained your knowledge and competence.

During the lessons, our comprehensive course skills are trained and tested: – Jujutsu (fall training, throws, joint locks and floor combat)

  • Task Fighting (free fight on different levels)
  • Shiatsu (Japanese pressure point massage)
  • Tai Chi (Chinese Martial System)
  • Kenjutsu (Sword)
  • Kotachi (Short Sword)
  • Jo (Staff)
  • Iaijutsu (Sword Draw)
  • ShindenFight (Free fight "ultimate")
  • Shakuasei (Tai-chi, Hsingi and Pakua – Chinese fighting systems handed down via our Japanese Grandmaster SST and Kimu Sensei from the Chinese martial art Grandmaster Shakuasei)

It's a big mouthful to learn, oversee, use and maintain. But as at the other end of the hall, knowledge here builds on top of each other in a pyramid of competence. With a solid basis in Karate, and an understanding of the context, and the principle of constantly building on known knowledge, AND good repetition through OBC and NKT, motivated by belt degrees - it is possible to maintain our 1,000-year martial arts and martial arts heritage.

You can clearly see that in the joy of training, will and fighting spirit that is put into practice. There are many good, beautiful and well-executed techniques, and it just goes on and on, in a veritable fireworks display of techniques from the entire Shindenkan's competence palette, for the entire duration of the event.

During the rally there are a few short breaks, and then the memorable cake break, where cakes baked in support of Shindenkan's friends are sold to the participants. It's especially a hit with JokoKidz, but we've all been kids once, and we adults must also join in when there's a party 🙂 and Shindenkan togetherness, fun and great atmosphere.

With new energy, and refueled with water again, the next step in the first part of the hall was kumite - freestyle. After Basis (learning standing and walking) and Shiho (4 directions), the techniques must be tested with an opponent. Here distance and timing must be taken into account, and not least taking care of yourself, with different opponents (training buddies :-)) and at different speeds and intensities. It is another layer of learning and application that builds on top. The last step is kumite with 2 opponents, where you are now attacked from both the front and the back. It doesn't sound like much to keep track of, but constant learning with ongoing corrections, building on what has gone before on multiple levels, and now being tested by opponents at increasing speed and intensity, while fatigue, both physical and mental, begins to set in. turn out, can be challenging. Super satisfying but challenging 🙂

Yes, they are under pressure and are allowed to show everything they can! And it takes place in a fantastic atmosphere and good spirit, where you can do your best, fail, say nothing, correct or get help to correct, try again and succeed. Where you learn from each other, and with each other. It's a real party. And we know that no one has ever gotten better at something without making lots of mistakes along the way, then learning from them and trying again.

It is an example of how Shindenkan's learning circles are used. Training in groups divided by experience, where you can be inspired by the more experienced groups who train at the same time alongside. At the same time, a leading instructor draws a common thread through the training and helps the individual groups with praise, inspiration and guidance.

After the training lessons comes the graduation session. Here the participants from the Kotachi and Jo competence courses are on the floor to show their skills, and they all do it really well.

Quite unusually, Kimu Sensei then declares that he has already seen everything he needed to see for the graduation session during the actual training meeting, as the participants have been challenged far beyond their syllabus requirements and everyone has taken up the gauntlet and shown how much they can do. They have shown an unusually high level of competence and Kimu Sensei is beyond pleased with them. Such!

The last thing left to do is the stamina test, for the advanced graduates. Those that are for Brown and Black belt graduations. The stop test, where you have to show how much you want!

And they have all been on a long journey to get here. They have already shown great perseverance, self-discipline and will. They have all been training for a number of years, from 5 – 15 years, and have stuck to and prioritized the training, the great togetherness, and stuck through the Corona period. They have all participated in Honbu curriculum training, courses, local OBC and NKT, National OBC and NKT, Brown Belt training, Black Belt training, and along the way they have worked their way through the challenges that often arise. They have entered into a graduation course over the last 6-12 months with preparation for Physical tests, Ryugi test (Written and oral), Ryuha test, OBC test, Shiai test, role model test through teaching, and for some, Written thesis, Summer meeting bottom teaching role and extraordinary role model with Ayame Gold for the second time.

Or put another way: They have improved their skills through local training and Honbu curriculum training and courses, where they have built up their knowledge step by step over a long period of time. At the same time, they have maintained their already built-up knowledge so that it was not lost. And finally, they have opted for a graduation course, where they have trained wisely over a longer period of time until they were optimally ready for the test.

And all the while they have been supported and helped by

  • Shindenkan's curriculum that builds step by step
  • Shindenkan's physical training, which builds up step by step through MBH, KataFIT and SKK
  • Shindenkan's mental training that builds attitude, from confidence to self-esteem
  • Shindenkan's instructors and training mates, and the good training environment

With all the help and guidance, anyone can actually do it! Everyone who wants to, because you don't get this far without making a huge effort!

The graduates get ready for the stop test, and all the spectators and family and friends gather around to cheer and support. And then it's full throttle! First with the hands, where you have to hit the pillow until Kimu Sensei says stop. Willingness and attitude must be shown, and everyone goes to the macrons.

After a short break, the pillow must be kicked! Again until Kimu Sensei says stop. And again with determination and fighting spirit, where you show what you can do.

And then the warm-up is over! There is a short pause, after which both punching and kicking must be done - FULL GAS - until Kimu Sensei says stop. And this time it lasts longer. It lasts until everyone has shown that they want to and that they have given their all, so you just have to go to the macaroons!

And the macaroons are gone. The record of over 15 minutes was not broken, but there is an impressive effort from everyone. It is not too much to say that the graduates give 100%-150% of what they have in them, and that is quite impressive and worth a round of applause.

Now you may mistakenly think they are BATMAN and SUPERWOMAN, but they are not there!

ANYONE can become a brown and black belt in our multi-track martial arts system!

They are quite ordinary boys and girls, men and women, who WANT to, and have stuck with it.

Anyone who wants to and persistently trains and takes up the fight with themselves and overcomes themselves can.

YOU can too if you want 🙂

You just have to take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one belt at a time - and enjoy the journey.

You have to celebrate your heroes and role models!

Therefore, the last point of the day is to celebrate the graduates through the graduation ceremony. Both for competence courses, for OBS certifications, as for new belt degrees and lines, colored like black, traditional degrees like ancient densho degrees.

The participants have trained for a long time for this event, for this graduation. They have shown themselves to be persistent and persevering, and they have stuck to their knowledge, skills and themselves right up until this summer meeting 2022. And it is truly a celebration, and a worthy end to the season.

Congratulations to all – participants as graduates.

And now we look ahead to season 2022-2023, where we will continue the journey and where we will have a lot of new students / training buddies / friends on the journey. So bring your mother, uncle, cousin, colleague, classmate, best friend – anyone – to a trial lesson, because with us Karate is for everyone.

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