Looking back I still can’t believe this happened, never did I invision still training and grading at this age,
I have to say  resuming training again was difficult and at times soul destroying , we forget how the body aches the day after training, long hours on the tatami refining techniques and discovering what works with an Uki who gives no quarter and I wouldn’t have it any other way, his honest feedback  meant I had to step up if I wanted to  take a mat grade and whilst I was still able to train and put in the time there was no way i would have accepted it being  presented to me,  my sensei in Eire always said you are what you practice ! it was time to lead from the front for my students and prove to myself that i still had the ability,
working towards Nanadan was for me a journey of self discovery , training daily  with my regular partner refuelled the fire and  helped re build my confidence  after many years of just coaching and supporting others,
I feel that I have grown more as a martial artist through completely stripping back my techniques during the last year,  this is something which I would recommend to everyone who trains as it is far too easy to become complacent, we must drop the ego in order to move forward,  when I train with Sean who is a 3rd dan we are  both equals on the tatami,  learning and supporting each other,   back to bare bones basics as they are our foundations, our building blocks,
But what will the future hold now?
More commitment and development to finding my own style with hopefully the support of my peers & training partners. the journey will continue,  for as long as my body will hold out, to share our knowledge is a wonderful gift and i look forward to exciting times  ahead  and new challenges.