Over twenty-five years of karate experience was on display last Saturday, October 4th, at the semiannual Black Belt Test at Rising Sun Martial Arts in Newport, NH. The result of this exhaustive examination of physical skills and competencies was that John Cunningham of New London, Griffin LaBrie of Claremont, and Susannah Colby of Sharon, VT received their next levels of Black Belt on the morning of Saturday, October 11th.
Griffin LaBrie has been training since April of 2007. He was promoted to 4th Degree Junior Black Belt; only the fifth person at Rising Sun Martial Arts to attain this level. “Karate has enabled me to realize that reaching high levels of achievement are within my reach and I can accomplish anything I set my mind and spirit to by keeping my focus and determination,” said Griffin, when asked what karate training has done for him.
John Cunningham has been training since September of 2005. At this ceremony, he was promoted to the level of 5th Degree Junior Black Belt. He is only the second person at Rising Sun Martial Arts to attain this level. When asked what karate means to him, he said, “Karate, to me, is more than a means of self-defense; it is a way to live; a way to treat others and a way to treat yourself.” John currently holds the teaching grade of Shidoin (Apprentice Instructor).
Susannah Colby has been training since 2004. She began her studies at a school in Vermont. When that school closed, she transferred to Rising Sun Martial Arts in May of 2006. Unlike the vast majority of students, she has remained dedicated to the art and determined to earn her Black Belt through both career and family changes. In her Black Belt Essay, Susannah writes, “With everything that life has thrown at me I’ve always been able to find solidarity in my karate. This black belt represents all of the pain, happiness, joy and sadness that I’ve experienced over the last decade. Karate has been the one solid thing in my life that has continued to make me a better person. It’s the one thing that has stuck with me through thick and thin. It’s the glue that holds me together.”
All karate belt ranks and teaching grades at Rising Sun Martial Arts are certified through Shidokan International; kobudo ranking is certified through the International Karate Kobudo Federation. Both of these organizations are licensed directly by the Japanese Ministry of Education. More information about Rising Sun Martial Arts can be found online at www.RisingSunDojo.com. Information about Shidokan International and the IKKF can be found at www.ShidokanUSA.com and www.IKKF.org, respectively.
(l-r) At the recent Black Belt promotion ceremony, Griffin LaBrie was awarded his 4th Degree Junior Black Belt, Susannah Colby earned her 1st Degree Black Belt, and John Cunningham was promoted to the level of 5th Degree Junior Black Belt. All three study at Rising Sun