With an opening bow at 10 a.m. the Southwest Judo Club’s Kagami-Biraki (Rice Cake Cutting Ceremony) began. There’s culture involved in the event, “a mix of East meets West, to celebrate the New Year,” explains the Mike Berman, head of the Virden Judo Club.
“There are many traditions associated within Japanese culture. We use some and mix a few Western ones, keeping mindful of who and where we are. For example: we use Rice Krispies Cake instead of actual rice cake (Moochi)… We will also use Ginger Ale instead of Saki.”
The event held on Jan. 11 at Mary Montgomery School marks the club’s 15th year of Judo in Virden.
Judo demonstrations included the Principle of Ju (gentleness) and Ukemi (falling) and Kata, as well as open training on the mat.
A solemn moment included remembering those who have passed on. “In our program we have a time for remembrances of friends gone. This is an open opportunity for participants to share a memory of a friend,” said Bergman.