On Sunday 4th March we held our first grading of 2018 and what a fantastic kick start to the year it was! This was a large grading with students of various grades – for some this was their first experience of a club grading and attempting the grade of 9th Kyu right through to students attempting their 1st Kyu – their very last experience of participating in a club kyu grading and their final kyu grade before black belt.
As always, we need to thank those who helped on the day, Senior Instructors – Sensei Julie Dudley, Sensei Martin Thomas and Sensei Gavin Oliphant. Club Sensei’s - Sensei Del Knowles, Sensei Chris Greenhalgh, Sensei Jack Churchouse, Sensei Amanda Kershaw, Sensei Martin Wilmot, Sensei Kirsty Churchouse and Sensei Martin Kershaw. Grading and admin preparation - Sensei Yvonne Crowther, Junior Instructor - Nathan Crowther, and Junior Sempai’s - Amy Kershaw and Brandon Crowther and black belt students - Harvey Atkinson, Keiron Gray and Oliver Spencer. Thanks to you all for your extremely valued help and support – it makes the task of days like gradings a much more manageable deed!
The room was once again packed with family supporters and friends encouraging and cheering on everyone who was grading. As a large club we are extremely lucky to have such amazing families who support everything we do and leave us such fantastic reviews. So, a huge thank you must go to all the parents who every week drive their children to lessons, and vastly support gradings, tournaments and seminars - without your superb commitment none of this would be possible and Musuko Karate Academy wouldn’t be the club that it is.
Back to the grading now – and everyone did amazingly well on the day and we are proud to have yet another 100% pass rate, the effort and focus brought by many was brilliant to see and there was some superb karate on display. All the instructors were very impressed with everyone who graded and fully agreed that all the students fully deserved their next kyu grades.
The white belts were of an exceptionally good standard and showed some very promising students going forward – all the white belts handled the grading extremely well and they should be very proud of their first kyu grade and the first rung on their own personal ladder of achievement – well done to you all!
Everyone who graded from 8th kyu to 4th kyu – also worked superbly all afternoon and there were some lovely katas, stances and kumite on display! It’s brilliant to see such talent coming through the ranks and there are some awesome students to watch for the future. Some of our younger students going from 6th kyu red belt to 5th kyu blue belt really pulled it out the bag and surprised everyone with their real effort and focus all day – keep up the great work guys! Congratulations to you all on your new grades.
We had a particularly high number of students attempting the grades of 3rd Kyu and above – and as always, we mention each of these students by name as to gain these senior grades takes many years of dedication, training and commitment. Therefore, massive congratulations to all of the students named below for your superb efforts and achievements so far:
Dev Patel – 3rd Kyu
Dev has been training at the Leigh dojos for a number of years now and is starting to make real strides in his karate. Dev really enjoys his training and is a great student to have in the club, he supports all our events and has formed some great friendships with other students of a similar age. He is a pleasure to teach and tries his hardest at everything he is shown. Since starting senior class Dev has started to grow in confidence and understanding and this is now reflecting in his karate. Dev did well at his grading he worked hard all day and gave everything to each section. His katas and stances are improving all the time, and he now has cleaner combinations. Dev never stopped in the kumite section and worked tirelessly regardless of who is opposing sparring partner was, he handled the section well and showed he fully deserved his 3rd Kyu belt. Congratulations Dev - keep up the great work!
James Paterson – 3rd Kyu
James has been training with Sensei Julie since a white belt. He has progressed through his grades nicely and is starting to understand more now what is being asked of him in class. One of our male adults in the club, James has made some good friends with other male students and is a polite mannerable student who is a pleasure to teach. James seems to enjoy his karate and rarely misses a lesson and along with his daughter Lydia they are supportive of all events we hold. James gave his all at the grading he worked hard from the start and was determined to get his 3rd Kyu grade. He coped well with the kumite section when pushed and just kept going no matter what. James would now benefit hugely if he attends senior class to grasp a greater understanding of black belt combinations, hip work and more detail of the higher grades katas - an essential part of the syllabus for anyone progressing towards black belt. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu James, very well done!
Calvin Kenyon - 3rd Kyu
Calvin has trained with Sensei Simon and Sensei Julie since a white belt. He is consistent with his training and he has always attended senior class since becoming a 4th Kyu. Calvin has good basics, and katas and has a really good understanding of hip work. Calvin is a quiet student who does have some confidence issues, and this is something we need to try and build on now. On the grading day Calvin did well, he worked hard in the sections and was pushed harder in the kumite section than in previous grading's - Calvin did struggle with this section for a while, but he did compose himself and carried on to the end and we commend him for this. To get to back belt is never easy but hopefully Calvin can dig deep and not give in. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu Calvin. Stay positive and keep up the hard work.
Matthew Lacy – 3rd Kyu
Matthew trains at the Chorley dojo along with his son Joshua and really enjoys his training, he is an absolute pleasure to teach and tries his hardest in every lesson. He always arrives at class early and is often seen practicing before the lesson starts along with Joshua. This all helps Matthew massively, and along with rarely missing classes and listening intently to everything he is taught he is making great strides in his training. Matthew is keen to learn and will ask questions if he is unsure of anything, he also has a great knack of picking things up very quickly and takes his karate very seriously. If Matthew could now attend senior class, he would make even greater progress with his karate working on the different aspects required for high ranking grades. With this experience we have no doubt he would go all the way to black belt and beyond. Well done Matthew – superb work! Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu.
Gary Churchouse – 3rd Kyu
Karate in the Churchouse home is a real family affair! Gary started training a few years ago after watching wife Sensei Kirsty, and sons Sensei Jack and Junior Sempai Ben train. As a family they are brilliant members of the club and support everything we do. Since starting Gary has progressed well through his grades despite having to take some time out due to an injury. He is a great character to have in the dojo and tries his hardest in every lesson, he is also a popular member and has made many friends. Gary did very well at his grading, despite still having some discomfort from his injury he didn’t let it hinder him and was determined to get through his grading no matter what! Gary worked hard all afternoon showing some nice clean practiced katas and good basics. He coped well with the kumite section, despite being pushed hard at times, and is now showing a greater understanding of sparring. Well done Gary. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu, keep training hard and the rewards will continue to come.
Mandy Chalk – 3rd Kyu
Mandy has trained with Sensei Julie since being a white belt along with her two daughters Ella and Poppy. She is a great student to have in the club, is popular with other adult female students of a similar age and has made some great friends. She has a lovely friendly personality and is a pleasure to teach. Since gaining her 4th Kyu Mandy has started attending senior class and has increased her training hours, this has helped her improve her karate massively and prepare for higher grades, working on combinations and higher-grade kata’s. Mandy did very well at the grading she worked hard from the start and showed all her karate ability off to a great standard. She had good katas, basics and stances and wasn’t fazed at all during kumite, and there was a definite improvement in all arears since her 4th Kyu. Mandy just now needs to start believing in herself more and how far she has come with her training. Well done Mandy keep up the great work you’re doing. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu!
Lydia -May Geddes – 2nd Kyu
Lydia is a great little student who has been with the club a number of years now and consistently trains - rarely missing lessons. She has a lovely gentle personality and is a popular member within the club. Lydia has kept training hard and listening to what she is being taught since gaining her 3rd Kyu and this showed at her grading. She always tries her best in class and this attitude then reflects on days like gradings. Lydia regularly attends senior class and this is helping her greatly improve and prepare for her higher grades. She coped really well at the grading displaying lots of effort all afternoon with clean katas and stances and good controlled kumite. Lydia should be proud of the progress she is making and the achievements she is seeing through. Well done Lydia keep up the splendid work – Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu.
Jessica Shovelton – 2nd Kyu
Jessica is a lovely quiet natured student who is an absolute pleasure to teach. She tries her hardest in every lesson, listening intently and then putting it into practice. She is a popular member within the dojo and has made some great friends. Since gaining her 3rd Kyu Jessica has started attending senior class on Tuesdays in Leigh and this has helped her immensely to learn the higher-grade katas and black belt combinations required moving forward. She is now much more confident and relaxed than the shy student who started out all those years ago, and hopefully she is starting to believe in her own ability. Jessica has lovely stances and katas and has good controlled kumite, she is progressing really well, and we have every confidence she will go all the way to black belt and beyond. Jess did brilliantly at her grading, she worked hard from the start and nothing fazed her all afternoon, showing that she has real spirit and focus. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu Jessica – very well deserved! Keep up the splendid work!
Bethany Bradford – 2nd Kyu
Bethany is another delight to have in the dojo, and a real pleasure to teach. She is a quiet natured student but inside has a steely determination and enjoys her training and the challenges it brings. A popular member in the dojo, she is a great member of the club and supports a lot of our events. Bethany rarely misses classes and since attending senior class has significantly improved. On the grading day Bethany quietly got along with doing everything asked of her, she can sometimes look like she is just breezing along but when pushed Bethany can handle any situation brilliantly. She has good clean katas, stances and basics and her kumite is nice and controlled, when pushed in this section she just got on with the job in hand and her understanding of distance and pace helped her hugely. Well done Bethany, keep working hard towards that black belt. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu!
Georgia Jackson – 2nd Kyu
Georgia is another of our talented young female students and is progressing well through her grades. She is very polite and always listens and tries her hardest in class. Georgia has always trained well and along with her mum Sempai Karen Jackson rarely misses a class. Georgia is a great little character and is fast becoming a great karate-ka. She has a lovely bubbly personality and is always smiling. Georgia is a delight to teach and soaks up a lot of what is taught like a sponge. She has brilliant katas and all her basics and stances are lovely and clean. Georgia handled the grading with no difficulty at all, she worked tirelessly all afternoon and completed everything asked of her. In the kumite section she was controlled at all times and showed how fast she is now maturing as a student. Well done Georgia – keep up the fantastic work. A very well deserved 2nd Kyu!
Karen Jackson – 2nd Kyu
Sempai Karen Jackson is one of our talented female adults, she is a brilliant student to teach and takes her karate very seriously. Karen always tries her hardest at everything and can get frustrated when she doesn’t always get things correct straight away, she doesn’t need to be so hard on herself though as she is doing brilliantly in all areas. Karen also really enjoys her role of Sempai and takes every opportunity to support at gradings and pre-assessments as well as being a great teacher in class. Karen has a lovely friendly personality and is very popular with other female students of a similar age. She regularly attends senior class and this has helped her grow both in confidence and understanding as she works through those higher grades. She is making huge strides in her karate and is significantly improving year on year. Karen was superb on the grading day and nothing troubled her, she gave every area her all and with a real steely determination and focus. Congratulations Karen – a brilliant achievement. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu!
William Marland – 2nd Kyu
William is one of our talented young male students and is a great student to teach. William really loves his karate and never misses a class unless he is poorly or on holiday. He supports every event we hold and we’re sure if William could, he would train every single day! Since obtaining his 3rd Kyu William has been attending senior class, he has handled everything brilliantly for a student of such a young age and is now making significant improvement in all areas of his karate. He is a lovely polite student, who just gets on with his training – he listens intently to everything he is taught and then puts it all into practice. William is growing both in confidence and understanding and on the grading day nothing really intimidated him, he worked hard from the start and was good in all areas displaying lovely practiced katas and basics. William also handled his kumite section with no problems and is beginning to show real control and maturity while sparring. Well done William – we hope you’re proud of how far you’ve come. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu!
Emma Mackie – 2nd Kyu
Emma is another brilliant student to teach. Along with her daughter Abigail she has trained consistently since a white belt and has progressed really well through her grades. Emma hasn’t always found all aspects of karate easy – but her sheer determination and drive have kept her going and for this we admire her. She has good all-round karate and her kata’s and kumite are much cleaner now than they were twelve months ago. She is a popular member within the club and has made some good friends, she supports a lot of our events and is really enjoying her karate. A regular student at senior class Emma is improving all the time as she heads towards her black belt, and hopefully she is now starting to believe in herself more. Emma did great at the grading, she worked hard from the start and coped well in all areas, her katas and basics were clean and had been practiced well and she handled the kumite section much better than in previous gradings. We very much look forward to seeing Emma continue improving and keeping up the splendid work she’s doing. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu Emma – a fantastic achievement!
Ocean Patel – 2nd Kyu
Ocean trains at the Leigh dojo’s and has regularly trained since a white belt. He is a great character to have in the dojo and can often make us laugh with his funny ways and sayings. Ocean attends every event we hold and is a popular member within the club, having made lots of friends. Since gaining his 3rd Kyu Ocean now regularly attends senior class on Tuesday evenings and this is helping him work hard towards the requirements for black belt, as well as significantly improve his karate. If Ocean could pay a little more attention in class and listen to what he is being taught he would progress even further, although we’re sure as Ocean gets that little bit older this will come. On the grading day Ocean worked hard all afternoon, he tried his best in every section and was determined to get his 2nd Kyu grade. In the kumite section Ocean was pushed hard for character and desire and coped well, towards the end of the kumite when he was tiring fast, he did lose his temper for a brief spell before regaining composure and carrying on with real determination and grit and along with the other students who were still doing kumite at this point received a huge applause for his efforts at the end of the round. Well done Ocean – keep concentrating and moving forward. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu!
Naisha Patel – 1st Kyu
Naisha is another of our talented female students, training at the Leigh dojo’s since a white belt. She has rarely missed any classes and is now a regular attender of senior class too. Naisha is a lovely polite student who has always had good strong karate and really good kicks, and kumite has always been one of her areas of strength. Naisha has made lots of friends and she seems to enjoy her karate, and when Naisha puts her mind to it she can display some outstanding katas. In class Naisha just now needs to concentrate at times more on what is being taught and she will improve even further, Naisha always comes alive though at gradings and her 1st Kyu grading was no exception. She worked hard from the start and showed lovely katas, basics and stances, in the kumite again she showed her lovely kicks and sparring technique and we hope Naisha is proud of how far she has come. Keep concentrating and working hard now Naisha as you head towards that black belt. Congratulations on your 1st Kyu!
Lauren Welsh – 1st Kyu
Lauren is one of our super talented young females, and a member of the elite tournament squad where she has had numerous successes in tournaments both nationally and internationally. A lovely polite young student she has always been a delight to teach and has had brilliant stances and lovely katas from being a white belt. Lauren has a knack of picking challenging combinations and katas up really quickly and she has progressed exceptionally well through all her grades. Lauren has been attending senior class for quite a while now and this has helped her to improve even more in all areas. A popular member within the club Lauren and has made lots of friends and she supports every event we hold. On the grading day Lauren worked tirelessly from the start and was very strong in all sections, her katas were lovely and precise, and her hip work and combinations very strong. Lauren did great in the kumite too showing improved understanding of distance and speed and handling every situation superbly even when pushed by her sparring partners. Fantastic work Lauren – Congratulations on your 1st kyu – next stop black belt!
Christian Schofield – 1st Kyu
Sempai Christian is a great student to have in the club, consistently training with Sensei Simon and Sensei Julie since a white belt he has really enjoyed his training and has progressed well through his grades. A great student to teach he tries his hardest in every class and never shies away when confronted with something new to learn. Christian also enjoys his role as a Club Sempai and helping other in class, he attends all pre-assessments and gradings as a Sempai and can be actively seen encouraging others. Another popular adult member within the club he has gained lots of new friends, and actively supports all our events. Christian worked really hard at his grading, his basics and katas were strong and clean, and his hip work is starting to come along nicely. In the kumite section Christian was pushed hard and although he wasn’t hurt he was challenged to dig deep for his spirit and character. He was extremely tired towards the end but handled the whole section brilliantly showing real steely determination to get through all the sparring section no matter what, and along with the others grading he got a huge round of applause at the end. Well done Christian – keep working hard now for that black belt at the end of the year. Fantastic work! Congratulations on your 1st Kyu.