Black belt grading’s are always a special affair and our November grading was no different. We are very pleased to confirm that we had a 100% pass rate from the seven students who attempted grading on the day.
The grading panel consisted of Sensei Brian Seabright – Chairman of the British Karate Association, Sensei Simon Crowther, Sensei Julie Dudley, Sensei Martin Thomas and Sensei Martin Wilmot. Thank you for assisting on the panel and being a great help.
We also had a number of special people who gave up their Sunday and wanted to get involved and support at the grading. These students were Junior Instructor’s Nathan Crowther, Taigen Swinburn and Jack Churchouse, Sempai’s Paul Webber and Christian Schofield and Junior Sempai’s Brandon Crowther, Alfie Appleby, Chelsea Grundy, Rebecca Worthington, Amy Greenhalgh, Ben Churchouse and Amy Kershaw. Thanks to you all for doing a fab job your help was really appreciated
The atmosphere in the room was electric at times and it was fantastic to see parents, family members and friends not only supporting their own loved ones but every other student who was grading too.
As always this support is fantastic and this is what makes our club so special, not only in terms of all the support but also the outside respect we have, both from strangers and Sensei’s of other clubs who comment regularly on our high standards and friendly exterior and etiquette.
To gain grades of Shodan-Ho, Shodan and Nidan takes many, many years of dedication, commitment, sweat and even sometimes tears! The euphoria when you achieve these grades though is ecstatic and is what makes these grades so special. Congratulations to each and every one of you who obtained these grades. You all have weaknesses and strengths in different areas but your combined effort and sheer determination at the grading is what makes you all so special.
Four-hour grading’s are no easy feat - but as students we know you wouldn’t want it any other way! The most exciting thing about earning these grades is that your karate journey now only truly begins! We very much look forward to seeing you all progress and learn even more in the coming years.
We are sure everyone in the club will join us in congratulating you all on your massive achievements.
These fantastic and amazing people who graded are all named below along with their grades.
Elliott Bertram – Shodan - Ho
Elliott is a great all round student, he is a popular member of the club and has many friends. He has always been a loyal supporter of the club and attends any events and seminars we hold if he possibly can. Elliott has consistently trained three times a week for four years, rarely missing classes and all the time spent in the dojo has given him real substance to his karate, he always tries his hardest in class, enjoys what he does and trains with loads of effort. Elliott has really good karate, his basics are strong, he has good clean kata’s and his kumite has understanding of distance and control. A great thing to see is how Elliott’s confidence has grown immensely both within his karate and also personally; particularly more so in this last year. Elliott was really strong at his grading, he completed every section cleanly and showed good hip work in both his combinations and kata’s. We have no doubt that Elliott will continue to get even better as he works towards his Shodan grade. Congratulations Elliott, brilliant work. Keep up the fantastic job you are doing!
Charlotte Bertram – Shodan - Ho
Charlotte is a lovely girl and another talented student in the club. She like her brother Elliott has consistently trained three times a week for four years, and is fast turning into a little pocket rocket! Charlotte has brilliant all round karate, one of last year’s Student of the Year winners Charlotte has continued to show why she earned the title. She tries her hardest in every class and is a popular member of the club with the students of a similar age. Charlotte was brilliant at her grading, she was very strong in every section, her combinations were strong and her kata’s were lightening quick, and executed with confidence and determination. Charlotte showed great hip work throughout her grading, and Sensei Brian Seabright commented on how very impressed he was with her karate. Charlotte is never fazed when it comes to kumite and gets stuck in and will give her opponent a great bout. Charlotte is now starting to believe in her karate more and her confidence is beginning to show through. We very much look forward to seeing this talented little lady continue to flourish as she works towards her Shodan grade. Fantastic work Charlotte! Congratulations on your Shodan-Ho.
Oliver Spencer - Shodan - Ho
Oliver is a fantastic young student who has consistently trained for a number of years. He is a great member of the club, and always tries his hardest in every class and enjoys his karate. Oliver has brilliant attendance and rarely misses a class, and all this effort and time training has helped him tenfold. Oliver is better than he probably gives himself credit for. He has really good all round strong karate, his basics are very good, his kata’s are strong and lightning quick and he has good controlled kumite. He is also a kind and thoughtful student and a great role model for some of the younger ones to look up to. Oliver did excellent on the grading day he perhaps mildly panicked in one section of the combinations, but had no need to worry as he had already shown the panel clean combinations done correctly. Oliver completed all his kata’s very well and showed great steely determination in the kumite section. Oliver will continue to improve even more as he works towards his Shodan grade and we look forward to him attempting this in the not too distance future. Congratulations Oliver and very well done on your Shodan-Ho grade.
Kirsty Churchouse – Shodan – Ho
Sensei Kirsty is a great member to have here at Musuko Karate Academy, she really enjoys her karate and is improving all the time. Kirsty originally watched her two boys Jack and Ben for a while before deciding to join in, get fit and ‘give karate a go’. Fast forward four years and Kirsty has her black belt – a fantastic achievement and definitely an inspiration for all the other mums in the club! Kirsty hasn’t always found her karate easy but her sheer determination and drive has been admirable to see and this is what has constantly driven her forward. Kirsty did very well at her grading, she was very worried about completing her Heian kata’s cleanly – but Kirsty did just that completing both Heian Nidan and Godan cleanly, and the best Bassai Dai she has ever done!.. the relief for Kirsty must have been overwhelming as she promptly burst into tears after going back to the side of the room, a very moving scene from anyone who witnessed it. Kirsty then continued with brilliant kumite showing why she fully deserved her grade. Well done Kirsty, you never faulted all day. Fantastic work and congratulations on your Shodan – Ho.
Chris Greenhalgh – Shodan
Chris is a lovely guy who supports everything we do. He is a great student to have in the club and always tries his hardest in every class. He is a popular member among the men and enjoys teaching others in classes. Six months ago Chris attempted his Shodan grade but sadly at the time failed in the kata section. Chris’s response has been admirable, he never sulked, felt sorry for himself or made a drama. Instead he responded by training hard, and having more sheer determination than ever. Chris really wanted his Shodan grade, and on the grading day he really showed it! He came back and was stronger, more focused and determined than ever. His combinations were much improved than last time and he completed all his kata’s cleanly and with focus and coped with the kumite section controlled and with understanding. Chris must have really felt the pressure – but he didn’t show it and it was very moving and poignant when he was finally awarded his grade. Well done Chris, you are fully deserving of your Shodan – Congratulations, a brilliant job!
Del Knowles - Shodan
Sensei Del is another great guy to have in the club, and always supports and attends any event and seminar we hold. He enjoys assisting Sensei Simon in class and teaching others, and shows great leadership skills. He is always willing to be a help in all areas, and for this we thank him. Del has been training for a number of years, and has been very driven and determined to constantly train even after having an op! He never misses classes, always tries his hardest in the dojo, has a fantastic attitude – which is really important when teaching students, and thoroughly enjoys his karate. He is a popular member of the club and has formed some good friendships with the other men. Del did very well on his grading day, from the start he had great determination and worked very hard throughout. He coped with all sections brilliantly, he had good combinations and his kata’s were all done correctly and with great focus. In the sparring Del showed real control, precision and understanding which impressed the panel. Del was never going to give up, he really wanted his Shodan grade and for that we commend him. Congratulations on your Shodan Del. Fantastic work!
Gary McDonald – Nidan
Sensei Gary joined Musuko Karate Academy from another club around eighteen months ago, at the time he was very down, demotivated and had lost his passion for karate. It is never easy when you join from another club but after an initial settling in period, Sensei Simon started to work closely with Gary in all aspects and Gary started to look at his karate in a different light, decided to get his mojo back and take his karate seriously. He joined a fitness club, lost weight and has consistently trained really hard ever since. Gary is now much more confident and happy with his karate, he is a popular member of the club and is forming some good friendships with the other men. He is a good role model, enjoys his teaching and is now looking forward to his own class starting in January. All credit must go to Gary though, his drive, determination and effort to do all of the above is purely down to him and for this we commend him. Gary was excellent on the grading day, he showed brilliant karate throughout and was generally on fire! His combinations and advanced moves were excellent, his kata’s were strong and although he had a minor wobble in the kata section he composed himself and completed the section fully and accurately. He did a fantastic Goju Shiho – Sho and Sensei Brian commented on Gary’s karate, and was impressed by his kimae and strength in all areas. In the kumite section Gary was pushed that extra bit more - as his grade would expect, he was extremely tired by this time but continued to push on through, never losing his temper and keeping his technique even when he had a momentary three on one sparring session! Brilliant Gary. Awesome work! Congratulations on your Nidan.