Mitchell Barber & his father Alan are braving the continent of India with Shihan on one of his regular trips to conduct gradings and training camps. The trip will culminate with the KBI Open in Hyderabad with Mitchell representing Australia on Saturday & Sunday the 28th & 29th.
The three travellers ventured to Delhi & Agra to be awestuck by the Taj Mahal prior to arriving in Hyderabad on Monday night. The chaos of the roads & lifestyle in India has amazed Mitch & his dad. Today Tuesday we are off to conduct our first grading of the trip. This newsletter will be updated daily so visit the site for more info on how the journey is progressing.
24th of January. Well today started out adventurous with a walk outside to a local shopping center. Crossing two roads with about 10 vehicles using up 2 lanes! There is no sign of pedestrian crossings, so needless to say the evasion skills of our travellers has improved considerably! The advice that he who hesitates loses was very appropriate! No scratches all was good. This was followed by the first official Karate commitment of the trip with a Kyu grading at the local private school. This group is under the guidannce of Sensei Parmesh the Chief Instructor for Asia. Approximately 60 very happy & extremely polite respectfull little faces looked up at us. The standard of their Karate was not what we are demanding in the Hombu dojo, but their effort was wonderful. Mitchell assisted in the grading and was happy to finally be in his dogi. Alan was swamped by parents enquiring about his son who looks like Harry Potter! The outdoor grading was a success with Mitch appreciating the tatami from home after doing some Kata on the concrete ground! This was followed by a visit to high tech city, Hyderabad is the largest software developer 2nd only to Silicone valley in the states. A night of pizza and shopping was great with Mitch meeting Rohit & Rohan the sons of Parmesh Sensei.
25th of January Day two in Hyderabad saw Shihan & Mitchell conduct a grading at the main branch of the public schools with 100 candidates giving 100%. The comment of the day was from a young white belt who advised Mitchell that he looked just like Tarzan! So he has been compared to Harry Potter & Tarzan. Also at the grading was a famous Indian movie star who`s daughter was grading, this thrilled the children. Shihan starts the training camp on the 26th with two sessions 9am to 12noon & then 3pm until 6pm. Karateka from all over India will travel to Hyderabad for the training, Grading & championships. Mitchell & Alan are much happier after the arrival of the lovely Talei. Now they can experience India together. Stay tuned for the next update. BACK ONLINE - sorry for the delay the webserver has been down.
26th of January Day one of training in Hyderabad was great it was their republic day, as it was Australia Day. We started with a flag raising ceremony. The attitude was good, they were shocked as always with the intensity of our training. One student commented alongside Alan during sit ups that we are mad to train like this everytime, Alan just smiled and kept on training. They have all taken to Mitch and think he is fantastic to come over ti India to train and compete with them.
27th of January Training concluded & senior grading was todays schedule. Some very good children graded two belts they were real stand outs, there was also some dissapointing seniors that have to resit their grading. Over all a great day everyone is getting excited about the championships.
BACK IN OZ! Sorry for the lack of updates but the web was down in the hotel and the championship took up alll of our time. Mitch was awesome in the junior Kata, the Indian students were spellbound by his every move, even a simple warm up would draw a crowd. He took gold in the 15 years Black Belt Kata, this is then an automatic selection into the Junior Kata Grand championship. All gold medallist from the Kata then compete for the overall champion which Mitch took with a great Empi. The Indians were so delighted with the result they lifted him up on their shoulders and ran him around the stadium while music was pumping and a very happy excited Alan & Talei started the crowd dancing! It was one of those moments that you had to see to believe. Mitchells sportmanship and attitude was the display of a great role model for Australia & KBI.
We are all very proud, he backed this up with a bronze in the mens kata on the Sunday & a Gold in the team kumite. The final congratulations goes to the lovelt Talei who put all nerves aside to put on one of Mitchells Gi`s to enter an event that was about to be cancelled due to lack of numbers. Parmesh senseis with Rekha also joined in out of friendship & Talei came home with the Silver medal. Well down! Signing out from our successful Indian adventure. We are already planning our next tour where we intend to take a team of at least 20 athletes and as many supporters that would love to come.