WHEN Karate is spoken about, it is spoken about as an individual martial art, in my opinion this devalues the art that I love.
Our clubs within the Shotobudo Organisation not only share practices, but also thoughts, research, stories and experiences. These interactions are what divide athletes with individualistic dreams of personal glory and those focused on personal and communal development within a group.
It has been a special few months for Dai Ichi Kai Cumbernauld, between November 2012 and March 2013 our club has been a shining star within the Shotobudo Organisation. The dedication to practice and the determination to give every ounce of effort in training has borne fruits for our club.
A perfect example of this dedication came in November 2012 during our National course in Largs. A 16-year-old boy called Callum Boyd achieved the grade of junior black belt. Not only did he pass his grading but excelled amongst people much more experienced than himself. This was due to the skills and knowledge he attained during years of hard, rewarding training at our club. After which I watched as my instructor, Graham Condie, graded for his 4th Dan. He showed phenomenal skill, stamina and mental toughness throughout his test.
Lastly I was lucky enough to take part in a very special martial artists demonstration for 8th Dan (3rd Meijin). The extraordinary skill displayed by Graeme Muirhead not only showed why he was at the top of the organisation but also why he is an inspiration to myself and many other martial artists. Which is why I felt honoured to be awarded the Vincent Strachan trophy.
Then our phenomenal progress continued in March 2013 when after months of hard graft Laura Murdoch and Katherine Sheary were put to the test for the grade of brown belt. These two girls have shown such grit and determination over the last 2 years. I then had the pleasure to watch Scott Smith grade for 1st Dan. This was an emotional time for me as Scott was the first of my students to be awarded a Dan grade, and it is a moment that will stick with me forever.
Many people will look at those as seven wonderful individual achievements, I look at them as a collective achievement for one wonderful club, for without the exchanging of ideas, knowledge and teaching methods, none of the above would have been possible, An individualist mindset makes one person improve, a collective mindset allows an entire club to improve.
(2nd Dan Instructor)