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2019 Graduation Ceremony in Sweden

Graduation Ceremony in Itosu-kai Sweden

With Soke Sakagami after Graduation Ceremony in Itosu-kai Sweden

It was in the autumn of 2018 that it started. I had reached the 1 kyu level in the spring. In my mind it thought it would take at least a year or two for me to move on. But suddenly, Sensei Göran, asked me if I was interested in graduating to shodan in the spring. I got very happy, but also very nervous. I did not feel I was ready at all, but of course I wanted it!

Several months of intensive training and coaching of Sensei Göran followed. There was a lot to remember and many details that needed to be sharpened. First of all: kihon, stances, blocks, punches, breathing, balance but also katas and all variations of kumite.

Itosu-kai Sweden

Time went by, and suddenly it was May 1, graduation day. As if it wasn't enough to graduate to shodan, Soke Sadaaki Sakagami and Sensei Ayumu Oda were visiting Itosu-kai Sweden. My nervousness doubled, but it was also a great honor to do my belt test in their presence. Standing alone in front of Soke Sakagami, Sensei Ayumu and my own Sensei Göran, having a my club members and instructors staring at me in silence was of course a bit scary, but also very enjoyable. It was at that specific moment everything was clear, reality caught up with me and I realized that I was actually doing my shodan test. It felt great.

With Swedish members at Itosu-kai Black Belt Seminar in Sweden

To graduate on May 1, gave me the opportunity to participate in the big Black Belt Seminar at Bosön. That weekend was great fun - tough training, fun activities and I also learned to know new friends from Denmark, Scotland and Ireland.

This has been a fun journey from the beginning. I started training karate as an 8-year-old and got stuck right away. The karate has it all - you train both fitness and strength, but also your mental capacity. When my parents picked me up on the training, they always said that they could not understand how twenty eight-year-old kids could sit in a row, silent.

Although I think I have reached a big goal, my Sensei tells me that "It is now that it’s starting for real".

Ludvig Hammarlund,

Shodan, Itosu-kai Sweden

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