A Nice Surprise
I got a nice surprise a short while ago when it was revealed that my wife, Zoë, had entered my name and details in response to an online add that Graham Slater, CEO of Martial Arts Australia (MAA), had posted:
"Shaolin Black Sash"
Nominate a Master for This Honour
MAA has 30 very special Black Sashes to give away. They were entrusted to Graham Slater by the Shaolin Temple, Deng Feng, China with the intention of giving them to noteworthy martial artists. Noteworthy: meaning from any style, for their dedication in serious training and the sharing their art.
Lo and behold, imagine my surprise when I found out I was one of the 30 successful nominees to receive the coveted Black Sash. We do what we do for its own rewards and never for one moment expect special recognition for it.
Most who know me are aware of the fact that, as well as being a 5th Dan in Shotokan, in the more than 50 years I’ve been training, I have recognition in several other martial arts systems including an honorary 5th Level Black in the Shaolin System of Temple Boxing known as the Tiger Ripping System. This ‘Honorary Black Sash Award’ perfectly complements the recognition afforded to me by my dedication to the study and teaching of all the various forms and systems of martial arts.
This article takes the form of an official letter of appreciation:
I would like to thank Graham Slater, CEO of Martial Arts Australia, and the Shaolin Temple at Deng Feng, China, for this excellent, fundamental concept of reaching out to the global martial arts communities. Also, of course, thank you for this personal honour that you have bestowed upon me.