On September 15th was the black belt award ceremony for Sarah Brown and about 60 guests attended the formal event. It featured a dedication ceremony, special cello music, a very traditional ceremony of presentation and more. The food was great and featured appetizers before the ceremony and after during the socializing. Special thanks to Carolyn Brown.
Ms. Sarah Brown is the 92 student to achieve this first degree rank in PMA’s forty year history. It is termed shodan ho which means a trial year of black belt, and following this and lots of progress, the student receives the formal certificate. Up to that time the student wears white stripes on the belt which are finally removed. The theory is that after a year of dedicated black belt training, those white stripes get so dark from sweat, wear and tear, one no longer sees the white stripes.
One of the features this time was a dedicated cello playing by the two brothers Ethan and Brandon Diep which received lots of compliments from the guests. During the dedication demonstrations various lower belt students did the ‘last kata’ with Ms. Brown as a way of saying goodbye to her as a lower belt. Later in the ceremony she steps up as a black belt and does the first kata with black belts.
Andy Vaughn (Sensei) and Zach Rousseau did an energetic display of the shindo muso (sword and bokken weapons), and then Mr. Rousseau did an excellent performance of PMA’s highest kata called Ganseki Nidan (great rock and you can see the major spinning jump in the photo.
The brown belts and lower belts also gave some outstanding dedication performances as seen in this photo of Mr. Malouf and Mr. Shinkre.
The many guests seemed to have a good time and during the ceremony Master Devine would describe the various parts of the traditional ceremony to help them understand it better. For example he would explain the meaning behind the banners, the ring wearing to share the spirit of previous black belts, or the meaning behind lighting the sensei candles and ringing the gong. Her Ms. Brown is shown later with some of her avid supporters on hand.
The ceremony takes many people to stage this affair, and this is the first one in two years. Certainly again to be thanked is Carolyn Brown who arranged for the massive amounts of great food and appetizers and beverages. Carol Sedlacek is valued for her month long commitment working behind the scenes to organize the event. Thanks to all the students who set up and cleaned up as well. Thanks go to the many black belts who have worked over the years to help the student achieve this rank. Ms. Brown has been training 13 years now. Her family may be the biggest supporters…. so thank you Rachel Brown for coming down from Portland to support your sister, and also to Michael Brown Sensei, Seth Brown and Isaiah Brown for your efforts.