Justin makes the grade

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By SHELLEY TOPP

The Rangiora Aikido Dojo’s mid-year grading last Saturday was a special event for one of its instructors, Justin Galbraith, who was awarded his Sandan 3rd degree black belt.

The qualification makes Justin the highest-ranked dojo member to have begun his training at the Rangiora Aikido Dojo.

“This is a great achievement for both Justin and the dojo as it demonstrates a growing depth of knowledge in the club,” says dojo head, Chris Clarke Sensei.

Justin has been practising Aikido, a non-competitive Japanese martial art, for 18 years. He began training at the Rangiora Aikido Dojo with Kevin Allen Sensei, who now lives and teaches Aikido in Coff’s Harbour, Australia.

Justin instructs basics and general classes at the Rangiora Aikido Dojo.

He began learning martial arts with Chinese kung fu lessons as an 18-year-old, gaining a black belt from Chan’s Martial Arts in Christchurch before switching to Aikido because the dojo was closer to home.

Testing was done by Simon Puffett Sensei, who is based at Shinryukan Hombu Dojo in Auckland.

Simon is a senior instructor and examiner.

He began doing Aikido in 1990. “The good thing about Aikido is that you are never too old to learn,” Simon says.

“However, it is great to see so many young members at the Rangiora Dojo, which has a high standard of tutors. We are looking at nurturing the future of Aikido.” The nine other students tested during the mid-year grading last Saturday also gained new rankings.

More information can be found at rangioradojo.nz.