Chairman: Grandmaster Ramon Lawrence OAM
REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN –Hobart 2018
Congratulations to all Inductees and I look forward to meeting you and our returning members in Hobart. I have been fortunate to have been able to attend every AMAHOF Awards ceremony since it commenced in 1996. It has been a long period of association with many Inductees whom I manage to meet up with on an annual basis only. As my “twilight” years are getting on, and my body keeps reminding me, it is becoming more difficult to participate in the seminars or conduct demonstrations but are very happy to leave this to the later generations and still be able to share any knowledge with them when requested. I continue to enjoy the discussions that always arise at these events.
This past year has been a busy year once again. I managed to pass my Rokudan Jodo grading in Tokyo in January, however my legs collapsed immediately after the event and I am having major problems preventing me from kneeling down and more importantly getting back up again. I guess 58 years of continuous martial arts training must have some damage eventually so I guess I have been quite fortunate to still be training although in a more limited fashion to previous years.
I managed to still attend the International Kyudo seminar in Tokyo in April and also compete for the first time in the World Kyudo Taikai after the seminar. Didn’t achieve anything other than good experience and knowledge for developing Kyudo further in Australia – I am the current National President. My point is that you never stop learning or training and it is important to always be a beginner in some system that keeps challenging your “beginners mind”. It makes you a much more experienced teacher.
There have been only a few enquiries for upgrading our members and a few more for Acknowledgement of Current Grades by AMAHOF. These have been investigated in detail and motions set in place for the applicant’s final assessments during a demonstration of their skills and to showcase their art at this year’s awards event in Hobart. However the one grading opportunity has had to be delayed due to the candidate having major surgery before the event, so hopefully he will be ready for the 2019 Awards event.
I must emphasize that the ASC has an obligation to the Industry and our members not to interfere with the balance of good quality leadership and achievement so that the right people are correctly rewarded, and seen to be acknowledged, by good performance over a long period of time and showing all the elements associated with the martial arts concepts. We will not interfere with any organization responsible for holding gradings for specific arts that the members belong to or have just left the organization. ASC is not to be seen as an easy alternative to doing the “hard yards” within authentic organizations responsible for such circumstances.
In the world today there continues to be much turmoil and interference in people’s way of life. A strong sense of belonging has been intercepted by terror and infiltration of our standard way of life over the past decades and it is now showing catastrophic turmoil across most countries and touching the lives of people previously unaffected. The way world leaders are being vocal on many issues is more concerning to the public than in the past years and focus by television of the negative events makes life appear to be more devastating that it probably is in reality. The need for our members to show good direction in the concepts of martial arts improving the community standards is more important than ever to stabilize the community into mutual support and well-being so that we all can look forward to a more constructive future than the destructive past has indicated.
As we move forward it is also time for change and upgrading of AMAHOF into the next era of development. The incoming AMAHOF President has been coordinating a full review of all our procedures, policies and concepts of membership. This is very timely and we do need to have a “continuous improvement program” in place so that AMAHOF keeps up the correct motivation into the future. New and younger membership blood from our current senior members is important for this purpose but we must make sure the achievement of being inducted into AMAHOF and being upgraded in ranks maintains a high level of ethics, achievement and notice-ability to the public as well as to members of the martial arts industry. In this area I strongly urge members to give the Executive their continued support and recognition to this important re-development.
Again congratulations to our new Inductees and grading applicants and we hope to see many of our past Inductees and friends in Hobart and for all of us to share in our small wisdoms gained over many years of hard training in our specific arts. Remember, “if it comes too easily, it is not worth having” and “do your first as if it is your last, and your last as if it is your first”. These two ethics of training will always hold you in good stead for the future.
I would also like to thank the outgoing Executive members for their support across past years to both AMAHOF and the ASC.
Kind regards to all
Ramon Lawrence, OAM
Australasian Sokeship Council Chairman
Hanshi Hachidan, Budokan Bujutsu Australia