Seven students of UNSW’s Taido Club recently reached an impressive milestone in their Taido career with the achievement of their black belt. This is the greatest number of students who have graded this high simultaneously since the club's founding in 1997.
Lawrence Kwan (Mechanical Engineering), Jacky Yu (Mechanical Engineering), Lena Nesterenko (Computer Engineering), Elisha Ma (Renewable Energy Engineering), Paul Young (Commerce), Steven Chan (Nanotechnology) and Veronica Mazurouv (Arts/Social Sciences) have been training persistently to receive black belts at this grading.
We spoke to the club’s founder and coach Louise Carlsson who has been practising Taido for 28 years and currently holds a 5 Dan (5th Black Belt). She explains the significance of the grading session (Shinsa) and its representation of the members’ dedication over many years to reach this stage.
“To be able to grade for the first black belt, students must show sincere dedication to the club and its members by attending majority of training sessions and helping others there. They also have to train hard physically to learn the basics of Taido and advance through the 6 grades before black belt. They are then recommended by the Sensei to be graded.”
The students celebrated their inception into the black belt community with a team building event and mountain bike riding on the Oaks Fire Trail in the Blue Mountains. They will now continue to gain valuable experience and can proceed through the 8 levels of black belts.
During the Shinsa weekend, the club also held friendly individual and team competitions in Hokei (form or kata), Jissen (sparring) and Tenkai (choreographed team demonstration event). These events occur throughout the year and are for students of all levels.
“The Taido competitions are fun and energy-filled events, the competitors are very friendly towards each other and the atmosphere is great.”
The UNSW Taido Club welcomes all interested students to their beginner courses at the start of each term, regardless of experience level. Find out more about them here.