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Castle Rock AIKIDO
Traditional Japanese Martial Arts for Adults
Aikido Seminar - Summer 2008
kokyuhonage aikido throw
Aikido class
higeshige tanto aikido
aikido technique throw
Aikido techniques
aikido roll mae ukemi
big aikido dojo
shihonage aikido
Several students tested for "Go-kyu," the first of five ranks under black belt in Aikido. 
Kriss, once again on the receiving end of an Aikido throw is slammed to the mat by Cari testing for "San-kyu."
Vimesh executes "Shiho-nage" on Justin.
Steve, also testing for black belt or "sho-dan" tosses his "uke," Phil.
Steve disarms Daniel's "tanto" knife with a "Hige-shige" arm lock.
After testing was complete, Izawa Sensei, from Tanshijuku Aikikai, graced us with a 25 minute mini-class focussed on the principle of "Zanshin" or 'ready awareness.'
There were an aweful lot of people on the mat this hot, Saturday morning.  Good thing the overhead fans were installed two weeks before!
The summer's testing seminar for Colorado's Aikikai dojos under Izawa Sensei was held on Saturday, September 6th.  For the first time ever, testing was held in Castle Rock at our new dojo on Caprice Court.  It was a hot, sweaty time, as dozens of students packed into the dojo.  

For many students, it was their first rank test (Go-kyu).  Others tested for brown and black belt.  Senior student, Steve Yee, tested for black belt after ten years of Aikido training.  This is quite an achievement because in Aikido, less than 5% of all students ever reach black belt.  Significantly less than other more popular martial arts in America, this may explain why earning a black belt in Aikido is so coveted and respected in the martial arts world.  This promotion represents only the 3rd time Sensei has ever promoted someone to the rank of sho-dan or 1st degree black.  
 
As is part of our tradition at Castle Rock AIKIDO, Steve's black belt earns him the right to wear the Japanese hakama.  Hakama are the dark colored, pleated pant-skirts reminiscent of traditional samurai dress.  Many Aikido school's hakama are black.  However, at Castle Rock AIKIDO, our hakama are a deep indigo color, which, like the depths of the ocean and the layers of a night's sky, are meant to symbolize the continued future journey of a student privileged enough to reach the rank of sho-dan.