Itai and Gearoid, Ikkyu and Gokyu

I was in New York earlier this week to help uke for promotion tests at my old dojo, with Itai testing for ikkyu and Gearoid (who I hadn’t met before) testing for yellow belt. Itai and I started at this together, and it was good to see him get to this rank in person. This was also the last promotion test in the dojo before they move to a new location in the Lower East Side.

Here are the photos (Cari did most of the photography with my camera):

jujitsu test

Exposure was inconsistent because I left the camera in apeture priority most of the test. I realized very late that I should have just taken test shots under the difficult lighting, found an appropriate shutterspeed and aperture, and just left it on manual settings. There were a few nice shots that were a stop or two underexposed: I played with the curves for those to get them semi-decent, though that introduced a fair bit of noise into the image. I’ll clean them up if anyone wants the full-sized photos.

Itai was exhausted before it was over. There were a few times near the end when the senseis would coax him into standing up, and then back away slowly, ready to rush in to support him in case he started to keel over. Remarkably, after each of those instances, he did very well: during randori, for example, he tore through the multiple ukes, executing strong throws most of the time. It was when he was standing still that he had problems.

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