Many years ago I joined a group of athletes who practiced Japanese martial arts. To begin with it was a Saturday training session. Novice practitioners were assigned to the morning, intermediates got the afternoons and the black belt practitioners had the evening slot.
One of my friends was a black belt 8th Dan. He was very proud of his grade and taught a Saturday morning class. As I progressed through the ranks of Rokkyu kyu (the white belt) I became fascinated with structure of Hakama the 8th grade Dan and his uniform. At first glance you didn’t see the pleats in the black trousers. It was only when you opened them up you could see the seven pleats, each one having been named after a discipline.  
1, Yuki = Courage, valour, bravery.
2. Jin = Humanity, charity, benevolence.
3. Gi = Justice, righteousness, integrity.
4.  Rei = Etiquette, courtesy, civility, obeisance (an attitude of respect; bow or curtsy).
5. Makoto = Sincerity, honesty, reality.
6.  Chugi = Loyalty, fidelity, devotion.
7.   Meivo = Honour, credit, glory.
Over the course of a year I made it to a brown belt but never achieved a black belt. Now in my sixties I go swimming on Saturday mornings and to my delight in the hall next to the swimming baths Martial Art classes are held every Tuesday evening and Saturday morning.
I was thinking of joining until I was invited to watch a demonstration bout.
 I have come to the conclusion I will just be a spectator.

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Comment by Jenny Itzcovitz on December 16, 2012 at 17:39

Hi Just Henry

You did very well to get the White Belt at Aikido. Learning self defence must be a real asset.

I'm not surprised though, that you prefer to be a spectator at the moment, swimming is a lot more relaxing.


Comment by Sam on January 2, 2013 at 18:06

Hello J H

my 8 year old has recently started Martial Arts as I took her for a free teaster lesson, she fell in love with it so I took it upon myself to joimn her there and then as I liked the ethos of the Dojo and Sensi's especially when given the creed.  Thankfully my daughter and her partner were pleased with me joining her up... mmm at £75 for gee and first month I bet they were ha ha ha.

She has already earnt her colours ( they award colours on the white belt of her gee to add up ) for following 5 of the set paths to follow and for Christmas I bought her Karate on the WII and a pad so she can practice her kicks and blocks. Im convinced this is the way for her to go as she kept erming and arhing at ballet and as I'd paid £100 for her to join and kit her out it was disappointing when she finally said 'NO! not enjoying it'. Still her mum was no ballet dancer at the same studio many years before. My eldest daughter won prizes an attained high grades and could have gone on to be a dancer,  so her baby girl of three months is already marked down for ballet school ( my eldest's choice, so mum will just stump up the fees and outfits no doubt ha ha ha ) I will never be rich in money but a millionaire in the pleasure they give back.

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