This past weekend four of my fellow karate-ka took their 1st degree black belt test. I was only able to catch the last hour (which is sparring) but it was still great to see. Traditionally they are given gifts or cards in honor of the occasion. I made the cards myself for the candidates and thought I’d do something a little different. The outside of the card says Osu! That means lots of different things, most literally striving with patience, but it is also a term of respect, so I thought it was appropriate.
Inside, I made a cutout of the Seido karate symbol, which is a cherry blossom that has two circles inside it. Then I stitched the two pieces together. I think they came out beautifully. I hope the candidates enjoyed getting the cards half as much as I enjoyed making them.