The first full day of the North American Taiko Conference (NATC), Friday the 7th, was even more of an eye-opener than I thought it might be. While it may be that not every North American taiko group currently in existence was represented there, the experience, skill level, and chops of those in attendance both inspired and challenged me. As a sempai for most of our Community Members in ONE, I bear a responsibility for maintaining and improving my taiko and serving as an example for others. Translating this to the larger taiko community, it felt somewhat like a wake-up call for me to evaluate anew my capabilities, weaknesses, and taiko IQ, one might say, relative to my experience. Not in a ruthlessly competitive way; more along the lines of seeing a fellow workshop participant play well and thinking, “Hey, that was pretty good and he had said he started playing taiko just 2 years ago….” The skills flashed by the different groups performing in the Taiko 10 concert drove home that point.