Our first year back
The aim of starting the dojo was to re-establish a Sydney based presence for Chidokan. I think our first year achieved that.
North Sydney PCYC was the location of the original Hombu dojo for over 35 years. When the Honbu dojo moved to Brisbane in 2003, the North Sydney dojo closed and we found ourselves with no formal place to train in our area.
Now that we have a Sydney based dojo we have the structured training environment that was needed to drive progress and also to maintain enthusiasm and passion.
The three main objectives for the dojo were clear.
The first was to maintain the legacy of Chidokan for as long as possible. Our dojo was originally established in 1969 and Soshi Sensei Hudson has been training ever since. There are not many Karate schools that can attest to that longevity we have had. In recent years, Soshi’s contributions to Karate have been significant. The advances we have made with the practical application of Bunkai as a style have been monumental, all thanks to Soshi’s determination and passion.
The second was to introduce Chidokan, and in the greater sense Karate, to anyone who cares to listen. The special thing about Karate is you can train on your own in just about any space and you don’t need any equipment. It’s doesn’t matter how, where or when you train. Just as long as you train. However, every now and then, it’s great to mix it up and train with a partner. Having the dojo allows us to open our doors to many more people and increase the number of students training with us.
The third was to enable me to continue training and teaching Karate; my hobby, my passion and my drive. I believe that being able to teach Karate is a privilege. Watching students enter the dojo for the first time, not really sure what to expect, is enlightening. Following the development and growth of those students as they learn, understand and develop into true Karate-Ka is awe inspiring. Listening to students’ talk of Karate with the passion and enthusiasm of a Shodan is the icing on the cake. It doesn’t get better than that!
The first year turned out to be a busier year than I could have hoped for
Thoughout the past year there were 114 training sessions with plenty of Kihon and Kata and the odd session of Kumite. By my rough calculations that’s about a quarter of a million punches and kicks!
During that time we had 6 new students come and train with us. Four of them keep coming back! What has surprised me the most was the number of Chidokan Karate-Ka from the ‘Olden’ days who have contacted us. In all, seven students from the past got back in touch asking about the dojo and who’s training where. Four of them have got back into their Gi and are regular students.
We were also lucky enough to be visited by two high grades from other styles; Stephanie from a Shotokan club and Elna from Judo.
There were four Gasshuku held during the year and although I was the only Sydney student to get to them all, we have all benefited from them. We pledge to do better next year!
To celebrate the anniversary we had an end of year dinner and almost all our students attended. Thank you to all my students for the thoughtful gift and words. I appreciate your dedication, hard work and commitment.
What does next year hold in store for us?
The aim of this year’s training is to develop crisp, fast technique. The higher grades will also attend all the Gasshuku with Soshi Sensei Hudson and the Dan grades will be stepping up the pace.
We will also be celebrating the 45th Anniversary of our style at the November Gasshuku which will definitely draw some more Karate-Ka of the past out of hibernation.
Also, a few more students will walk through our doors and continue to fill our dojo.
But there’s more than just next year. The aim of the dojo is to continue to provide a Sydney presence for Chidokan that allows anyone who wishes to, to train. This will continue to be our primary focus.
Our objectives will remain clear and over time we hope to grow to the numbers we saw back in the early 1980’s. Each and every training session takes us closer to our goals and we will continue to introduce our martial art to everyone who wants to learn about it.