Yesterday we demonstrated martial arts in the Japan section of the first AsiaFest. This was a massive event and a huge success. There was a wide range of community members from all corners of the globe, and the event was very well organised. In fact, I think the popularity of the festival surprised even the promoters and stall holders, many of whom sold out! Umehara san, Kensei, Takumi, Gandalf, Satoe and some of our other members were at the festival from morning to evening all three days participating in many cultural events. It would not be an overstatement to say that these people held the Japanese quarter together. Many long days and nights of preparation went into this festival.
Thank you very much to Shanelle Franklin, Greg and the rest of the AsiaFest promotion/management crew who have done a wonderful job of bringing together this festival in a short period of time. Not only have they done an excellent job in their very first year, but Shanelle managed to keep a smile on her face the entire time, and took time to talk to everyone (even taking care of Satoe for a while during the Bonodori dance). She made it look easy – despite her radio and two mobile phones constantly keeping her busy! Security took initiative and fast-tracked demonstrators and parents through the gates who otherwise would have missed the show.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our demonstration at AsiaFest yesterday. I am so lucky to have so many dedicated students and supporters. In particular, thank you to Umehara san, who was not only responsible for our invitation, but despite a very hectic schedule, participated in our demonstration and threw me around with some great jujutsu moves!
A huge shout out to Pacey – my lieutenant – who has given so much to the club and is always there when I need him. Also to the ever-reliable Raghu, who never misses an event, whether a competition, demonstration etc. Big thanks to Jo and the Purvis family, who are some of our keenest members, who came complete with all their Sobukan merchandise and even helped look after baby Tai.
Thanks to Gandalf, Max, Jayrell, Arian, Neysan, Marko, Christopher, Dylan, Joel, and our Karate-bu members Aiko, Meg, Satoe, Kazuya, Shunyo and Lennon for their constant efforts and for often introducing new students to our little dojo. Of course a huge thank you to my son Sei for being a dojo leader and always wanting to do kumite and wife Miho for helping out! Many of our children handed out flyers yesterday. Fingers crossed that these lead to more members! A round of applause to the parents who bring their children to each class and wait patiently while their children train, and also taxi them to these events. Finally, thank you to the others who did not demonstrate, but came to AsiaFest and took photos or just lent support. You are the best bunch!