AIKIDO Kenkyukai Orange head instructors Fiona Hawke and Stephen Nugent have been presented with their fourth dan certificates at a gasshuku, or training camp, in Canberra over the Easter long weekend.
The pair took part in a series of very technical training camps led by seventh dan Hideo Numata Sensei.
The achievement has been 20 years in the making.
Nugent said although training in Aikido is time consuming, it’s extremely rewarding.
“You start off you know it’s a minimum five years training before you get your black belt and you think that’s a long time. But you get to this point now and you look back and think five years isn’t that long,” Nugent said.
The presentation of their fourth dans capped off a big 12 months for Nugent and Hawke.
Both did their grading demonstrations at an international gasshuku in Sydney in October 2010 in front of one of Japan’s leading Aikido practitioners and head of Aikido Kenkyukai International, eighth dan Yoshinobu Takeda Shihan.
Takeda Shihan also visited Orange during his time in Australia last year.
It was a great honour for Aikido Kenkyukai Orange that Takeda Shihan led two classes at the local dojo during his visit.
Takeda Shihan’s son, fifth dan Daiyu Takeda Sensei, visited Orange in February this year, as part of preparations for an international children’s gasshuku to be held in Australia in 2012.
Both have been to several training camps in Japan, too.
“It’s intense training in Japan but you want to make the most of it while you’re over there,” Nugent said.
“It’s hard work but it’s amazing.”
Hawke said the work put in to achieving their fourth dans was more than worth while.
“We don’t see it as a burden because it’s something that we love. It’s part of our life and it’s part of our kids’ life, too,” Hawke said.
Rob Sussmilch of the Orange dojo completed his second kyu grading at the camp in Canberra.
“He did a great job,” Nugent said.