As I sit down to write this newsletter it is Friday morning, the day after our largest colour belt grading in history - 90 candidates across three branches! It also means there's the big task of sorting out and allocating a record number of belts and stripes before me - and I cannot WAIT to get started! - because every one of the belts and stripes before me tells a story.
Amongst the pile of colour sitting on my desk there swirl the stories of kids who have graded through the mini kids syllabus and just started a new journey as brand new yellow stripes on the colour belt syllabus.
There are stories of students of all ages and ranks who have had bumps in the road and chosen to see them as challenges rather than as road blocks, exemplifying the tenet of perseverance.
Some of these stripes and belts have been hard fought, hard won - but, you see, there is also the story of indomitable spirit here among all these colours.
There are stories of young people who didn't have a lot of confidence or self esteem when they first started training with us who have just successfully graded to green stripe, green belt and beyond.
There are stories of mature students who didn't know if "they'd be able to train at their age" who have just earned an internationally recognised rank in a respected martial art, and continue to progress and achieve new things every day.
At a broader level our record grading also tells the story of the Warrior Three Kings branch - which has come of age as the original members from its opening in 2013 are coming onto and rising up the colour belt syllabus, and Warrior Diocesan branch which has exploded in growth this year and had most of its members grading on Thursday night too.
There's also the story of our amazing instructors, who go above and beyond to make sure you are ready and want the best for our students.
I have been a part of the Warrior story since it first began in a rugby club rooms near the Mt Wellington Countdown back in 2009 and continue to love being a part of it, because we have such amazing students and parents, and a wonderful instructing team who all work together to create something that I believe is truly special.
To those who have just graded - congratulations from the whole Warrior team, and we hope you enjoy learning your new patterns and techniques - you will receive your results and new stripes and belts this week.
And to everyone - thanks for continuing to support each other and support us. We couldn't do what we do without you.