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On Saturday morning at 10:00 the children had their tests. Sensei was there watching the proceedings. The advanced children went first and as I was watching them I wished that I'd been doing aikido at their age. They did very well.
When our beginner children were tested I was uke for one of the five year olds. I had to get down on my knees for him to throw me. All during the test one of the children lined up next to us was confusing his right and his left. He had to be told repeatedly to switch his feet by Sensei, who smiled patiently each time. It was too cute.
While we were outside deciding who would get belts or stripes one of our five year olds appeared at the steps to the dojo with his mother. She thought that the tests were at 11:00. So her son will have to wait until June to test. As compensation for missing out he got to help with giving out belts.
After new belts or stripes had been awarded to the children, Sensei made some closing remarks of encouragement. He said that they were doing great and to continue to work hard and incorporate what they learn from aikido into their schooling and at play. Sensei then asked the boy who had confused his right and left to raise his left hand. He hesitatingly raised his right. When asked to raise his right, he raised his left. Everyone howled.
One of the parents of a newly awarded yellow belt student came up to me afterwards to thank us for our hard work. She said that her son now paid more attention in school and was doing better at his classes. This, for me, is the best news ever.
And now…to everyone at Aikiweb, Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2005!
(Ooops!...If you read my previous journal entry you would have noted that I got katatori and katatetori confused in my write up…I knew I should have looked it up.)