On the 29th November we held a black belt grading for students attempting the grades of Shodan-Ho and Shodan.
In front of a grading panel of Sensei George Best, Sensei Simon Crowther, Sensei Gary McDonald, Sensei Julie Dudley and Sensei Martin Thomas we are very happy to state that every student successfully passed their grade.
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.
We need to thank some special people who helped at the grading and gave up their Sunday to help and support the students who were attempting grades. These are Junior Instructors Kieran Lydon and Nathan Crowther, Junior Sempai’s Chelsea Grundy, Alfie Appleby, Brandon Crowther, Rebecca Worthington and students Chris Greenhalgh, Chris Morley, Jon Mockridge and Paul Webber. Thanks guys you did a great job and your help was very much appreciated!
To gain grades of Shodan-Ho and Shodan 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.
Martin Wilmot – Shodan-Ho
Sensei Martin started training four years ago and has always trained regularly three times a week. Martin is a lovely guy and a very loyal student to have in the club. He currently supports Sensei Gavin at the Carleton dojo on Friday’s and has excellent teaching skills - and we are sure he will soon have his own class which will be a great success. He is a very dedicated and committed student who has always enjoyed his karate and supported any karate event or seminar he could. He has progressed well through all his grades – showing a vast improvement over the last year. On the grading day Martin had great spirit and focus, he tried really hard and gave every section 100% effort and we could ask no more than this of him. Martin took quite a few hard shots during the kumite section from Sensei George but showed great resolve and spirit and kept going until the very end. We congratulate you on your Shodan-Ho Martin. Very well done!
Derek Knowles – Shodan-Ho
Sensei Del is a great guy and a fantastic and very loyal supporter of the club. Del has been training in karate for around four years and is a student who loves his karate and very rarely misses classes. He gives all his training 100% effort in every class. Sensei Del is also a brilliant support for Sensei Simon and helps at the Leigh and Lowton dojo’s on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s where he does a great job. On the grading day Del gave it 100% effort from the start, the sheer determination and focus in his face was plain for all to see and this really impressed the grading panel. Del was very confident in all sections and this transpired into good combinations and lovely clean kata’s. During the kumite section Del was brilliant! He took some right knocks off some of the other students, and Sensei George, but never once thought about giving up - such was his intent to gain his Shodan-Ho. Congratulations Del, awesome work and thoroughly deserving of your Shodan-Ho.
Amy Greenhalgh – Shodan
Amy is a lovely and polite girl who is now really coming into her own. Her karate has improved massively in the last twelve months in all areas and she is now believing in herself more. She is a popular member of the club and has made some great friends with the other girls of a similar age to herself. Amy always trains well and tries hard in every class and this is really paying off for her. On the grading day Amy was strong in all areas, she had good clean basics and combinations and was confident doing kata’s Bassai Dai and Jion which were done to a great standard. Amy has strong kumite and can give as much as she gets, although a little more control and restraint is now needed from Amy and this is something we will work on in class. Overall though Amy did a brilliant job and the grading panel were very impressed with her all round karate. Congratulations on your Shodan Amy, very well deserved!
Alex Oliphant – Shodan
Alex is a lovely boy who has been training for around four years and is great character to have in the club. Alex has progressed through all his grades well and tries hard in every area. He is a popular student in the club and has lots of friends. He is very supportive and attends any seminar or karate event possible. On the grading day Alex gave everything he had, he focused hard and every area was technically good. In the combination section he was really sharp and this area particularly impressed the grading panel, he was under some pressure during the kata section but managed to pull this around for himself. In the kumite section Alex struggled at times to control his temper but then he composed himself and did really well, never giving up and at times it transpired into some confident kumite. Well done Alex, fantastic work! Congratulations on your Shodan.
Benjamin Churchouse - Shodan
Ben is a lovely person and another great student to have in the club. Ben has been training regularly for around four years and is a very supportive and loyal member. He is a real steady student and has progressed through all his grades well. Ben was very determined at his grading and nothing was going to stop him from obtaining his Shodan! Ben tried really hard in every section and this was very admirable. Ben’s combinations were good and with composure his kata’s were technically clean. In the kumite section Ben did really well, he was pushed hard and took some hard knocks, but let his karate experience come into force and handled all situations admirably and this really impressed the grading panel. Congratulations on your Shodan Ben, very well done!
Jack Churchouse – Shodan
Jack is a great student and a lovely young man. Jack also has great teaching skills and is enjoying his role as a Junior Sempai. Jack has been training regularly for around four years and really enjoys his karate. He always helps out if possible at grading’s and this is fantastic to see. At the grading Jack did really well from the start and was sharp and focused. In the combination section Jack was strong and although he bowed to a little pressure in the kata section, he composed himself and produced technically clean kata’s which impressed the panel. During the kumite section Jack was fantastic, he handled all situations brilliantly, including some challenging rounds, and all the training time in the dojo really payed off for him as nothing seemed to faze him! Congratulations on your Shodan Jack, very well done!
Taigen Swinburn – Shodan
Taigen is a lovely girl and a fantastic student to have training with us. She is one of our top young female students and a great role model to all the other younger girls. Taigen has been training for around four years and since upping her training a few years ago has gone from strength to strength. Taigen has brilliant karate in all areas and was chosen as our Junior Female Student of The Year in 2014. This year has shown Taigen step it up another level, where she has had success in outside National tournaments. At the grading Taigen was simply brilliant from the start! She had strong karate in all areas and was fully focused throughout. Her combinations and kata’s were clean and done with great confidence and understanding. The panel were really impressed with how Taigen handled all areas of her grading. In the kumite section Taigen stayed composed and controlled throughout, she had some difficult rounds to endure but nothing fazed her! Brilliant work Taigen! Congratulations on your Shodan.
Laighton Worthington – Shodan
Laighton is another fantastic student to have in the club and a lovely boy. He is super talented and a little pocket rocket. Laighton has been training for around four years, four times a week – a very admirable commitment for which we commend him! He has always had really strong karate, but this last twelve months Laighton has cranked it up another level. On the grading day Laighton was outstanding in all areas. He had beautifully controlled combinations and kata’s that were completed with kimae, confidence and control. In the kumite section Laighton was simply brilliant! He has great understanding of kumite and used distance and hand speed to the highest degree, plus while doing all this Laighton constantly smiled throughout! All the grading panel were incredibly impressed with Laighton in all areas – a fantastic achievement! Congratulations Laighton, incredible work and thoroughly deserving of your Shodan!