About a month has gone by since I handed the group over to Dan. This has been an extremely long month for me. It is fun being home in the evenings, though the work is difficult and Sisyphean even more than coachingâ€¦
This is a time in which my wife and I need to gather up a lot of strength and take care of our little boy. This, along with raising our older son, work and married life is a big challenge.
I miss you all, I miss practice: the insights, the sweat, the laughter, tea and biscuits at the end…
Thank you very much for your gift which I received through Dan. I understand that almost everyone is persistent and coming to practice, this makes me very happy.
I train in Yossiâ€™s group once a week and try to meet up with at least two other people for more practice on a regular basis in addition to my own training, so Iâ€™m not letting myself rust.
The hard work seems to be paying off and my personal task is slowly making progress. I have some visits from students, and Dan comes over regularly to train with me. You are all gladly invited. I am available on the phone to everyone.
I love you all very much,
See you soon,
Due to insurance and bureaucracy reasons, the responsibility for the group is still mine until the end of March 2007.
On November 22nd, 2006, Ido and I successfully passed the orange belt exam.
The exam, I found, was very intense. An hour and a half in which time Amir covered all the basics: traditional kata, groundwork, throws and stand-up. He looked for the small details in the exercises, the nuances that make the difference between successfully completing the task and just going through the motions.
I learnt a lot from that experience and from the experience of getting together outside of practice to train. During those evenings on the lawn next to our old dojo, Ido and I, along with friends who came to help, were able to practice on different levels: the physical and grounded level, where every move and stance is crucial, and the level of understanding the importance of the moves and positions. I think that these experiences enabled us to look differently at everything we did after that.
I used to be a non-believer in the system of exams in Ninjutsu, however I think that as time passes and as I learn more about both myself and the art, I understand that exams are not meant to show others what I can do, but rather allow myself to better understand what it is that I do.
A full length video was shot, but for now here are two pictures taken during the exam.