Friday, 16 March 2018

More Grading Success!

Once again it was time to assess how far our club members have come on their karate journey, so we gathered again at Manor School for our grading course. There was something different about this one, and it was not just that it was held on a Saturday! Mike and Keith Sensei were going to examine all the student up to 1st Kyu, as this would free up Alan Campbell Sensei (7th Dan), Head of JKS England, and Steve Carless Sensei (6th Dan) to concentrate on the instruction.

Steve Sensei taking the class through Tekki Shodan

As always I was busy welcoming people to the course so did not get to see much of the training or grading for the Junior Grades, but I do know that everyone did brilliantly. Angel, Florence, Austin, Ella, Alfie, and Poppy (P) were our first club members to step before the examiners and all did very well and were awarded their 11th Kyu. Meanwhile Isla, Jaxon, Harley, Robert, Liya, and Evan continued their steady progress and picked up their 10th Kyu.

Jesteena, Venus, Matthew and Will (B) were next up for the club. There were some nerves on show from Venus and Matthew but they were easily overcome as everyone was successful in attaining their 9th (Jesteena, Venus & Matthew) Kyu or 8th Kyu (Will).
The club gained a troop of Yellow belts as Jeon, Annabelle, Joshua, Zach, and Daniel all impressed the examiners to be awarded their 7th Kyu.
Some of our Junior grades showing off their technique
Paul (D) was up next to try for his 6th Kyu. I know that Paul was nervous on the run up to the grading, but he trains hard, and tries his very best at each and every training session, and this paid off as he was able to walk away with his Green Belt.

Edwin, Thomas, Ben, Poppy (M), and Aidan all continued their relentless progress through the mid grades with Edwin, Thomas, and Ben being awarded 5th Kyu, and Poppy (M), and Aidan being awarded 4th Kyu. Brown belt is on the horizon, and to reach will require another step change improvement in your karate, the challenge is there but I am sure that you are more than capable of rising to it.
Paul and Ben battle it out!
Overcoming this challenge was exactly what William (V), Aiwin, and Oliver did. They all put in good performances, and nice strong katas to attain 3rd Kyu Brown Belt. Now they start the long round to preparation for Shodan (Black Belt). Again each of them has the potential to get there, but it will require dedication and hard work!

Will (M) and Paul (B) took their next step on their journey to Shodan by both successfully grading to 2nd Kyu. I know Paul was quite nervous going into the grading, but his kumite in particular has developed over the past several weeks, and this showed in his grading. Will also seems to be settling down into his karate lately, his technique has improved a lot and has become more focussed.

Olivia looking very composed!
Olivia was the last of our club to grade. Despite her outward calm I know that she too was feeling pre-grading nerves. Olivia has made steady progress since joining the club and this continued at the grading where she put in a very confident (despite the nerves) andcompetent performance to gain her 1st Kyu. The next step is Shodan! There is an entirely new kihon syllabus to learn and freestyle kumite to master, but I am very confident that she will continue her determined pursuit of Shodan and be joining the clubs group of Black Belts before too long.

Whilst the Senior Grades were being tested Alan and Steve Sensei were continuing their instruction of the rest of the attendees. The class was split slightly differently than normal, with Alan Sensei taking the Dan Grades through as a special Nidan and Sandan course whilst Steve Sensei continued to instruct the rest of the class.

I attended Alan Sensei’s session, and to be quite honest is was brilliant. He slowly built up the techniques in the Kihon syllabus to drive home the important and underlying points. The level of technical detail was excellent, but what was equally important were the hints and tips as to what the examiners are looking for in terms of spirit and attitude as well as technique. All in all it was an excellent course, and invaluable for any aspiring Nidans or their instructors.
Alan Sensei taking the Senior class through Bassai Dai
As always I would like to thank Alan and Steve Sensei for their instruction, and Paul Sensei for arranging and administering the course (ably assisted by James Vince, who has kindly agreed to help out with the administration of the courses).



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