By Lee Seaman, NTC chairperson
This has been an exciting year for Shintaido instruction.
International exams were offered in Japan in May at Matsuri 2004. Although exams are not our primary focus in Shintaido, they do provide a focal point for preparation and for sharpening our understanding of our keiko technique. Especially at the international level, exam prep starts years in advance, and the effects of that intense practice continue on long after the exams themselves are finished.
We are very proud of the results. Master Instructor H.F. Ito has been joined by three new Master Instructors including SoA cofounder Michael Thompson from the US, along with Masashi Minagawa from England and Mitsuru Okada from Japan. SoA also gained four new Senior Instructors (Shin Aoki, David Franklin, Rob Gaston, Jennifer Peringer), four new Bojutsu San-dan (Connie Borden-Sheets, David Franklin, Rob Gaston, Jennifer Peringer), and one new Karate San-dan (Shin Aoki). SoA member and Shintaido Italy instructor Gianni Rossi also passed his Senior Instructor and Bojutsu San-dan exams. SoA Senior Instructor Lee Seaman tried for General Instructor, but did not pass this time.
Jennifer, Rob, and David are new members of our National Technical Council this year, joining Connie, Shin, Lee, Friedemann Shulz, Joe Zawielski, Jim Sterling, and NTC advisers Michael Thompson and H.F. Ito.
During 2004, in addition to discussing questions on technique and exam requirements at the national level, the NTC also selected three members to represent us on the newly formed Technical Committee of the International Shintaido Federation. Our representatives are Jim Sterling, Joe Zawielski, and Jennifer Peringer. They join Alain Chevet, Pierre Quettier, and Gianni Rossi from Europe and Hideki Oi, Toshimitsu Ishii, and Tadafusa Sakakibara from Japan. We are grateful for their willingness to take on this large and important job.
In 2005 we will be working further on clarifying technical and exam-related issues, and on building clearer channels of communication between the NTC and SoA instructors.
For NTC-related questions contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.