Shihan Ceremony at the Hombo Dojo
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Shihan Ceremony at the Hombo Dojo

It is always something special when Shihan Jhonny Bernaschewice puts on his ceremonial cloths and enters the Hombo Dojo. At those moments the atmosphere suddenley changes, each and everyone is very moved and a humbling sphere spreads through the whole dojo.

This time it was even more special for two of his students. Both have been involved in Chi Ryu Aiki-Jitsu for decades and time was due to put them on the next level.

After the Friday training of our annual Instructor Seminar at the Hombo Dojo all Shihan and Sensei gathered waiting for a special Kata session with Shihan Ebbe Kristensen who led the seminar. Instead of practicing the special Kata Shihan Jhonny Bernaschewice entered the dojo wearing his ceremonial Hakama and Haori. Everyone immidately knew that something special was about  to happen but no one knew who was involved. All eyes were on Shihan Bernaschewice, the atmosphere was tense.

When Shihan Jhonny Bernaschewice asked Sensei Jozef Gora from Oswiecim (Poland) and Sensei Hans-Jürgen Pech from Lobstädt (Germany) to step forward both of them were frozen for a moment, then stepped forward with disbelief in their eyes. What was going on?

Shihan Bernaschewice first talked to Sensei Jozef in Polish telling him that after decades of dedicated training and loyality, even in times of temporary absence, he was nominated for the title of Shihan Chi Ryu Aiki-Jitsu. Having tears in his eyes everyone attending the ceremony knew that Sensei Jozef Gora was very moved by the words Shihan Bernaschewice found for him.

Turning his attention to Sensei Hans-Jürgen Pech Shihan Jhonny Bernaschewice then asked Shihan Kathrin Siggelkow to read the nomination letter written by the Sensei of Bushido Zhong-Ryu Lobstädt out loud. Here is an excerpt of the letter (in German):

[…] wir, die Meister des Dojos Bushido Zhong Ryu, nominieren unseren Meister und Haupttrainer Hans Jürgen Pech wegen seiner erfolgreichen stetigen Bemühungen in der Verbreitung und Lehre der Techniken des Chi Ryu Aiki Jitsu für den Titel Shihan.

[…] Er vermittelt in einer im eigenen Art die Techniken des Chi Ryu, bringt die Studenten an ihre Grenzen und motiviert sie über diese hinaus zu gehen. In seiner Überzeugung hört das “Chi Ryu” aber nicht mit dem Training auf, sondern er versucht die Prinzipien des Chi Ryu und die damit verbundene Einstellung mit in das Leben nach dem Training einfließen zu lassen. […]


Hearing these words Sensei Hans-Jürgen Pech’s eyes filled with tears. It was the first time in all those years that his students showed their emotions in a way he never expected.

Both new Shihan received their certificates along with their personal hanko, a stamp with their name and title on it.

Then Shihan Kathrin Siggelkow prepared the sake which is served only for this occasion. Both new Shihan had to toast to the present Shihan while Shihan Jhonny Bernaschewice was yelling “hiphip Horay” three times.
As tradition asks Shihan Jozef and Shihan Hans-Jürgen had to empty the bottle of Sake after the ceremony. Lines of students giving their congratulations were forming after the official part of the ceremony was over.

Both new Shihan were emotionally very moved and overwhelmed about what just had happened to them.


Shihan Kathrin Siggelkow


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