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December 23, 2000

Students and Families

RyuBuKan Dojo


Dear Friends and Students,

I am writing first to thank you for all of your support, particularly during these past months.  When it seemed that the world had stopped turning you were there to help us through another day.  On behalf of my entire family, and especially Junko, Julia, Christina and me, please accept our sincere thanks for all you do for us. 

 This letter is also intended to inform you that classes at the RyuBuKan Dojo will begin in 2001 with the addition of a new black belt instructor, Julia Ai Bernardy.  Julia earned her first-degree ranking (Shodan in Japanese) in a test conducted on October 29, 2000.  Her true test, however, came in the manner she prepared for this challenge.  To give you a sense of what I mean you must know that she not only significantly increased her training time and intensity in the weeks leading up the test, but also took charge of teaching weekly classes in our dojo while I was focused on Christinaís personal challenge.  Judging the test were over fifteen senior instructors in various martial arts disciplines, making it a memorable but difficult experience to undergo.   Julia also did her part to help throughout Machiís illness and was by her side with Junko and I when she passed on November 11.   We are all extremely proud and grateful for how she conducted herself.   Also successfully achieving rank advancement at this test was Nathan Dunn who received 3rd degree brown belt (San Kyu), the first of three levels on this ranking.  In a special ceremony Christina Machiko was promoted to Shodan by the many instructors present who know her and agreed that she was deserving of this honor.   Please join me in congratulating all of these students for their dedication and effort.

Classes at the RyuBuKan Dojo will commence on Saturday, January 13, 2001 and are scheduled every Wednesday evening from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM and Saturday mornings from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM.   Each month will have a different focus depending on rank and experience levels.   A few of the upcoming highlights include revisions to our Student Handbook that add aspects of physical conditioning, progress tracking, safety awareness and more to our training curriculum.  Our Internet presence has expanded and developing into a useful knowledge base.  The network we have of highly skilled and open-minded teachers from diverse martial disciplines has also grown, and we will be invited to attend various seminars throughout the year that should expand our understanding and appreciation of other arts.   All of these changes and more to follow are designed to provide an effective and satisfying learning experience.  I look forward to hearing from each of you on your training goals for this year and seeing you in the dojo again soon.     

We wish you all a joyous Holiday season, and all the blessings of a healthy and happy New Year.



 The Bernardy Family

     Pedro, Junko, Julia Ai, Christina Machiko