I got up at 05:00, and left Ottawa shortly after 6 with a friend to head to Montreal for a seminar. It took just under 2 hours to get there, but then about 45 minutes to find a parking and walk to the seminar, which had changed location slightly from previous years. Register, change, and get on the mats for 9, and then the fun began.
We had an hour with each of three Shihan: Yamada Sensei from New York, Bernath Sensei from Florida, and Fukakusa Sensei from Thailand. I got to practice with new folks from all over the Northeast of the continent, including the renowned Robert Zimmerman Sensei from Toronto, whose style is reputed to be extraordinarily hard. I found him forceful, but not excessively so; of course, he may well have been going easy on me as a white belt he hadn't met before. By the end of the morning, I was pretty tired, and looking forward to lunch!
After showering and getting back into street clothes, we strolled down to a nearby mall, where I ate about half of an immense serving of pretty good pad thai, then went back via the car to get my other backpack with a fresh gi etc. for the afternoon.
In the afternoon, we had another hour with each of Fukakusa and Yamada; by the end of the second hour, I was having a hard time getting up, and my thigh muscles were starting to spasm, which is new! After that, I handled a camera for filming our dan-rank tests. The tests ran for a bit over an hour, and then we were done for the evening.
Showered and changed again, the crowd from our dojo, about twenty of us, went off to a nearby Indian restaurant, where I got into a Taj Mahal draft beer (an ale which goes quite well with the Indian spices), some onion bahji, and a very tasty balti goat curry. The mood was quite celebratory, as we had all our candidates pass: 2 new shodan (first-degree black belt) and 3 new sandan (third-degree black belt, the highest rank generally given by examination).
After dinner, a few of us went off in search of dessert, and found a little place nearby with a convenient cluster of couches, so we hung out for a while there, taking the rare opportunity to socialize and hang out. After classes back home, there's always a reason to rush off, so we don't get to relax together as much as we'd sometimes wish.
Around 10:00, we figured it was time to head back to Ottawa, so we hobbled our way back to the car and drove back home. I unpacked my rather damp gis and crashed into bed somewhere around 12:30, and then slept for most of ten hours. Today will not be a very active day for me... I'm sore everywhere.