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News    -    2016

It has happened to master Kelemen…, thought provoking
2016-04-20 12:00:00
Dear Ju Jitsukas!

I have been thinking a lot if I should share this short news with you or 
not. The reason of my hesitation is that I don't want it to seem like 
self-praise. On the other hand, the example might be instructive for those 
ju jitsukas, who have difficulties in bringing themselves to step one level 
further in their ranking.
The Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK) sent me - together with three colleagues 
- to a tactical infighting course to the Netherlands, to the "SPEAR" 
instructor course of the Blauer Tactical System that is famous in the SWAT 
"profession". Well, in itself, this is not worth posting as news...
But I cannot tell the last time I have been a student in my own "genre". 
This situation has raised interesting questions for me. Am I able to get 
rid of my 10th dan and to take in something different, that may be opposite 
to my previous conception? Moreover, these "special" courses are more 
against martial arts, than friends with them. (Sometimes with a reason. 
See e.g. the many "ballet ryu".)
I could not imagine how difficult days were ahead of me (us). 10-12 hours a 
day, half of the time spent with theoretical, the other half with the 
practical training (minus lunch time). I would not call the circumstances 
"Spartan", but it can be called only satisfactory, at least talking about 
the location of the training. (A kind-of big hall, where a cheap 
wall-to-wall carpet served as a tatami...) They poured us the information 
in form of words, pictures, practice, while my brain was busy trying to 
paste all of it, to compare it with the last forty (!) years of experience 
and knowledge. I would like to remark (not very) quietly that this was 
not a self-defense crash-course…
My normal rhythm of mental and physical fatigue started to differ from 
what is normal, but it made me calm to see that my colleagues are in the 
same situation. As good Hungarians (or as at Kelemen Ryu), we did our best 
in the practices.
On this level, I feel that I performed good, since I was behaving as a 
hard-working and devoted student. So getting rid of my high rank can be 
seen as successful.
The next challenge came mostly in a spiritual way, examining my being as 
a student. I needed to TAKE AND EXAM! In front of people who are all behind 
me from a martial arts point of view - moreover they are half my age.
We needed to show the practiced elements, and then expound it, explain it 
during a trial teaching session. The next step was the theoretical exam. 
Since it was the four of us, we had someone for everything: there was 
somebody translating, reading, writing, and one WHISPERING. (Ok, this 
was only a joke.)
My exam was successful: I became a SPEAR instructor. At the age of 61! 
Although I did not make any research, most likely I am the oldest student 
amongst the Blauer Spear Instructors, and also, I think I am one of the 
oldest ones who are training active infight at SWAT or counter terrorism 
organizations. So, this is what I meant by saying that I have to keep my 
ego down.... So: people with white, yellow, green, blue, brown, black belts, 
don't hesitate! Go for the next level, the next challenge! This is why I 
wrote this little story.

OSU!
Soke István Kelemen 10th dan



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