January 2017

75577_Sobukan Martial Arts_01_RAWHappy New Year! I trust you have enjoyed a happy, healthy and safe holiday period. I look forward to seeing you at the dojo on Monday 9 January and working off a couple of Christmas kilos that I gained from munching my way through some very generous gifts from members.


Please don’t feel guilty if you have indulged a bit these past weeks; its what you do between New Years and Christmas that matters, not what you do between Christmas and New Years. Life is balance. I hope you have focussed on happiness and safety these past couple of weeks and have recharged yourself for a year of fighting fitness!


News Year’s Resolutions can be quickly forgotten, but goals are vital. For help developing goals, please visit last January’s newsletter. As always, I encourage you to talk to me, and others, about your goals. Not only can others support you, but the act of publicly announcing a goal builds accountability. Set your goal, plan for success, and execute with discipline.



Every year Umehara san hosts a kakizome session at Sobukan. Kakizome translates as ‘first writing’. Umehara san will help translate your goal, or theme for the year, and teach you how to brush the Japanese character at our first class on Monday 9 January.


I reflect upon my five-year vision for Sobukan and how we can start turning vision into reality. I am very proud of our system. In 2016 I spent many hours refining our syllabus to make better use of our time together, and to recalibrate from a prescriptive toward a more descriptive syllabus.


I encourage you to review the adjustments, which include:

  • Focus on counters and combinations, to develop core skills
  • Closer alignment between the junior and senior syllabus to assist smooth transition
  • Formalisation of self defence


kizuThe best system in the world still needs quality people to make it work. Sobukan is no exception. Teamwork is essential to develop dojo leaders, to create further training opportunities, and establish Japanese exchange opportunities. Accordingly, I have selected kizuna (bond/relationship) as my theme for 2017.


I will create a new page on our website introducing some of our members, particularly the higher belts. I have asked James Pill to interview our students, starting with the brown belts. Your cooperation will be appreciated, but is not mandatory.


Important dates                                                                                                                                                                                   

Date Time Event
Jan 9 6pm First session for 2017
Feb 10-13 All day Kudo World Cup (Mumbai, India)
March 17-19 All day Arnold Classic (Melbourne) – Kudo Nationals TBC
April 1-2 All day Grading (tentative date)
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