What a year we’ve had.
With the pandemic, everything as we know it has changed.
And yet, there’s been a tremendous amount of progress that’s been made in the art this year, which makes it all the more amazing. This progress would not have been possible without everyone’s support, and we would like to thank all of you for sticking around with us during this difficult period.
This address will be split into 2 sections. The first section will highlight a few of the major milestones for this year, whereas the second section will consist of major updates that all NihontoDo practitioners need to be aware of.
In BattoDo, practitioners simulate the aggression and intent involved in drawing the steel sword to engage the opponent. This year, we’ve had the first batch of practitioners (outside of the Pioneer group) attending BattoDo class for the very first time.
Since attending their first classes at the start of the year, these practitioners have been making great strides in their understanding of how to handle a steel sword properly and safely. With this progress, they have thus begun Phase 2 of the BattoDo syllabus, which includes kneeling techniques with the wakizashi.
In Combative Kenjutsu, the full-contact nature of armoured samurai combat is simulated.
This year, our practitioners have been making great progress towards attaining a degree of competency in sound sparring and closing in. With that, they have moved to the next phase of their training, which includes the basics of hooks and locks and will explore this in greater depth in 2021.
Bladecraft was designed to increase the odds of survival in people who live in areas of the world where a knife carrying culture is the norm.
We’re happy to report that we’ve had the first batch of practitioners (outside of the Pioneer group) attending a Bladecraft seminar conducted by Master Dav this year as well. These seminars work towards familiarising those in attendance with a series of simple movements and techniques that will hopefully give the assailant some pause, making them reassess whether or not it’s worth the trouble to escalate the situation.
Our home at Marymount was a great place. Sadly, however, we were informed that the lease was up and we had to look for a new venue. This search was done in the midst of the Circuit Breaker restrictions, and yet we managed to find a place shortly after Phase 2 had started.
And that’s how we ended up at our new home– a cozy little dance studio at Paya Lebar with high ceilings, large mirrors and air-conditioning.
We’d like to take a moment here to highlight that such setbacks are part and parcel of life, and that NihontoDo is an art which has never shied away from tackling such problems head-on. Through such predicaments, we will only grow stronger. On that note, we would like to remind everyone that consistent attendance will not only mould you into a better practitioner, but that it will also help to keep this existing venue a viable option.
We’re excited to announce that we will be resuming basic classes after conducting 2 trial sessions recently. This also means that our Teaching Cadre will be given the opportunity to work on guiding these new practitioners in their journey towards becoming full-fledged NihontoDo practitioners.
Do take note that we will be doing away with monthly payment and that moving forward, practitioners will be paying on a per-session basis only, at these rates.
Here are the colored belt progressions along with a visual representation of how the ranks are to be displayed on each practitioner’s gi.
- At Black belt, practitioners will be given 6 months to switch over to blue gi and acquire a hakama
- Dan ranks are to be displayed on the right sleeve of the gi and belt respectively
- For yudansha, the white gi can be used as a spare gi. Said white gi should also reflect the proper ranking features
Practitioners who have undergone and passed grading for each of the advanced modules will be able to display these badges on their gi. These badges are to be sown on the left sleeve and will be in effect from 2021.
Here is a visual representation of the Clan Hierarchy, featuring members of the Supreme Council, the Executive Committee and the Central Committee of NihontoDo. Pioneer Brad and Pioneer Radzif have been appointed as joint-Soke of the art, and Sensei Yun Teng has been appointed Head of Teaching Cadre, overseeing the Central Committee consisting of the highlighted list of current Sensei. With this, we will be in a strong position to take on any challenges that lie our way in the months and years ahead.
This year has been nothing short of challenging. However, just as we have all come together to overcome the challenges of the pandemic to achieve several significant milestones, so too must we come together to reforge ourselves better and stronger as we head into 2021.
And so, on behalf of the leadership team, we would like to thank you once again for your support and we look forward to seeing all of you back in training in the new year. In the meantime, do continue adopting a mindset of watchfulness and caution even as we go about blazing the path forward. Happy new year, everyone!