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The long hard road to sho dan

Judo ACT conducted sho dan gradings with both Kris Arnold and Derek Morris being awarded their sho dans.

Kris’s judo journey started back in 2000 and is currently a jujutsu san dan. He instantly fell in love with judo realising how much judo had to offer. Not only has his passion for judo continued, but judo has also been a way of life for him in leading a better and heathier lifestyle.

For Kris, he takes the view that achieving a sho dan represents the beginning of his judo journey and he looks forward to continuing to learn but also continuing to give back to the sport. ‘Judo is not a journey you take alone. Judo needs training partners, and I have some truly awesome ones. You need coaches that invest in you. It takes family that understands and at times forgives.

In the case of Derek “The achievement of sho dan is the commencement of the next part of a journey that has no known finish line.”

Derek started judo in the early 1990’s, after experimenting with other martial arts. He eventually found his place in the gentler art of judo. A highlight of Derek’s judo experience was the establishment of an overseas multinational club while on a defence deployment. The Club saw over 25 judoka from six nations train during this time. The lived experience of the transportability and true international nature of judo remains a highlight of this judo journey.

Derek “is today because of what others have all allowed me to pursue.” He acknowledges the mentoring of John Whipp, AM, CSC, his most recent support of Murray Simons, Liam Tredgold, Stephanos Georgiadis and Matt D'Aquino. They have all ALWAYS kept him focussed on the road leading to sho dan. Derek mentioned the enormous, and sometimes conflicting, support of his wife and daughters, and his Dad whom he blames for starting him on his judo journey; and his Mum who joined him for his most recent rumble at the Nationals.

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