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Anne:


I was first introduced to Western Circle through Kaiden Kris. I explored the sword arts privately with him for a time before deciding to carry a katana and train for the rank of Green Braid, which I will achieve by the Fall of 2015.

I have grown tremendously in my first year as a swordfighter. While at first I found the intensity of a simple class in the dojo overwhelming, I now am proud to have found myself standing at the end of night of 20 matches and 5 melees. My focus and trust of self have deepened. I find I also bring what I have learned in the dojo back to my own leadership and teaching practices: definitive response, calm under adversity, awareness.

There are three things that I love most about the Western Circle. First, the Strength I feel and develop through training. Second, the sense of Challenging Play that comes in some of the non-combat classes, when our activities feel like schoolyard games I haven’t enjoyed in 30+ years, or may have shied from even then. Third, the Relationships that develop among swordfighters: To be challenged, and then to be supported and encouraged by your small successes and the growth others can see; To offer and receive Sanctuary in its most complete form; To be exchange the Warrior’s Greeting and all the understanding and connection it conveys.

I desire to embody the Three Friends of Winter (Suihan Sanyou): the steadfastness of the evergreen pine, the perseverance of the blooming plum, the resilience of bamboo. May this be my path.