We have had a very busy June here at Musuko Karate Academy which has seen a lot of students grade to their next level in karate at the club grading. We then had a very successful day at The Northern Open Championships where our squad team entered their first tournament and knocked out some ‘big guns’ in the flag system rounds and came away with medals. And lastly we have finished off the month with our Black Belt grading at Fleetwood.
The black belt grading had thirteen students who were attempting the grade of Shodan-Ho, Shodan or Nidan grades.
Due to the dedication and hard training here at Musuko Karate Academy we had another 100% pass rate! Yes there are some areas where there can still be improvement in students, but overall the standard was very high!
Sensei George Best 7th Dan who again kindly agreed to sit on the grading panel was very impressed with all the students. Sensei George’s knowledge and comments are always invaluable and we consider it an honour to have him on our grading panel.
Thank you to all the parents and families who supported on the day, and the parents who drive their children around to all the karate classes, grading’s and events all year round, your ongoing support and commitment to the club is fantastic!
We must mention the people who kindly gave up their day to help with the grading. Sensei Del Knowles, Sensei Martin Wilmot, Junior Instructor Dylan Hickman, Junior Sempai Jack Churchouse and student Chris Morley. Thank you to each and every one of you. Your commitment to the club does not go unnoticed.
We are sure the whole club will join us in Congratulating the students individually named below along with their new ranks.
To get to these grades in Karate takes many, many years of dedication and it takes a very special student to go all the way to black belt and then continue beyond that with their training. Some students simply hang up their belts when they achieve it, thinking that is the end result but this action is an awful waste.
We sincerely hope that the students listed below will continue with their training for many years to come as their karate journey only now truly begins.
Ben Churchouse – Shodan-Ho
Ben is a lovely and quite shy young man in the dojo (but his mum says he isn’t at home!) who has been training with Sensei Simon from a white belt around 4 years ago. He has always had really good attendance in class and supports every event we have. Ben has in the past been noted for his lack of attention at times, but as Ben matures this is becoming less and less frequent. At the grading he was extremely focused from the start, his basics and stances were good, and his kata’s were well practiced and clean. Perhaps a little work is needed on some of Ben’s kicks but overall Ben has good solid karate. In the kumite section Ben did really well and didn’t stop even when he lost one of his hand mitts! With a little more confidence and attention Ben’s karate can improve even more, and we look forward to Ben attempting his Shodan grade in the future. Congratulations Ben on your achievement. Keep up the great work so far!
Chris Greenhalgh – Shodan-Ho
Chris has only been training with us here at Musuko Karate Academy since October 2014. When Chris joined us his confidence was very low and it has taken time for Chris’s personality and karate to start to fully show again. Chris is consistent with his training now and this has really helped his karate to improve tons. Chris worked really hard at the grading, he put effort into all the basics and tried his best at everything. His combinations were generally of a good standard, and he now has the confidence to stand up and do work on his own. Chris’s kata’s still need work overall, and he knows this, but he has come such a long way in such a short time and has definitely improved an awful lot. Chris’s kumite is his stronger point and he is now also starting to show much more control and respect in kumite rather than just throwing kicks and punches around. He is now finally starting to believe in himself and this is great to see. Congratulations Chris, you thoroughly deserved your grade. Well done!
Amy Greenhalgh -Shodan-Ho
Amy joined us along with her dad Chris in October 2014, and again had really low confidence and believe in her karate. Over time Amy has started to blossom and now she has fully settled into the club and made friends with the other female students of her age, Amy is starting to shine! She is consistent with her training now and this along with her belief in herself has helped her karate tenfold. At the grading Amy was brilliant from the start, her basic overall karate is now much sharper and cleaner and her kata’s are now much more powerful and flowing. This is brilliant to see from a young lady who couldn’t even Kia loudly when she first joined us! The kumite section for Amy was tough and at times she seemed to struggle to keep going, but she dug in and didn’t give up. Amy is a lovely young teenager who is now going from strength to strength and continues to improve all the time. Congratulations Amy. Brilliant work and fully deserving of your Shodan-Ho!
Taigen Swinburn – Shodan-Ho
Taigen is another one of our super talented young females who has been training with Sensei Simon from a white belt. Taigen has strong karate in all areas and the sky really is the limit for this young lady. Taigen’s combinations were very sharp and her kata section was nice and clean. Taigen could at times in the past let her shyness in the dojo take over, but this is now virtually non-existent as she is starting to see for herself her full karate ability. Taigen was brilliant in the kumite section, she held her nerve and just got on with it, showing everyone around some brilliant kicks and controlled punches. Taigen has lots of friends within the club and is a great asset to have, a lot of the younger female members look up to her and she is a great Junior Sempai. Well done Taigen. You really showed why you deserved your Shodan-Ho. Congratulations and keep up the fab work!
Alfie Appleby – Shodan
Alfie is a polite and thoughtful young man who has been training with Sensei Simon from a white belt. He has always had good consistency in his training, supports all events we hold, and he is lucky that he also has a great role model at home to look up to too, as his mum is Sensei Julie Dudley. Alfie’s karate is really coming along, he has great karate in all areas and his kata and kumite are of equal strengths. At the grading Alfie gave it his all from the very start, his basics and combinations were all good and his kata’s were controlled and practiced well. Alfie’s kumite was also very good with controlled movement and skill. He handled the whole day really well and it showed that he has listened and put into practice what he has been taught in classes. Well done Alfie and Congratulations on your Shodan!
Chelsea Grundy - Shodan
Chelsea is another of our very talented teenagers. Chelsea has again been training with Sensei Simon from a white belt and is a very devoted student. She supports every event we do and her karate means an awful lot to her. She is a popular student in the club and seems to have a close bond with her fellow female young graders Amy and Taigen, and on the grading day they seemed to all support each other brilliantly. Chelsea is a real steady student, she works hard at improving her karate in every class she attends. She has good basics in karate, although there is a little work needed on some of her kicks. Her combinations were done to a good standard and her kata’s were very tidy and you could see that they had been practiced well. Her kumite was good and although Chelsea got extremely tired she didn’t give up and continued to push through to the very end. Very well done Chelsea and Congratulations on achieving your Shodan grade!
Rebecca Worthington - Shodan
Rebecca is another of our very dedicated students. She started karate around four years ago as a white belt and has trained consistently ever since four times a week. There is not many students who have travelled as far and put as many hours into training in the dojo as Rebecca, and this is also a testament to her parents who have driven her around everywhere. All the years of training for Rebecca came down to her grading day and it all paid off. She was not fazed in any areas and just got on with the job in hand. Rebecca has good all round karate, her basics are quite strong and her combinations were completed well. Her kata’s are of a good standard, although a little more Kimae would now improve them even more and this is something to work on in the future. Rebecca’s kumite is an area she lacks confidence in and this needs improvement before attempting her next grade. Her Shodan is a reflection of all her years of hard work and dedication and we congratulate you Rebecca on your fantastic achievement. Very well done and keep up the great work!
Brandon Crowther - Shodan
Brandon at ten years of age is one of our youngest members to reach the grade of Shodan. Brandon has trained in karate from the age of four as a white belt and has again trained around three to four times a week ever since. Brandon has strong karate in all areas, his basics are very good and he has really good combinations. His kata’s are very well practiced and he has some beautiful kicks. Brandon could have more Kimae in his karate but this is something to work towards in the future as he is still quite young. Brandon has good kumite with decent control but could perhaps use more power but this will come as he gets older. Considering his age Brandon has a great karate future ahead of him if he continues to train like he currently is. Congratulations Brandon on your Shodan grade. Keep going little man you’re doing great so far. Well done!
Martin Thomas – Shodan
Martin is one of our adult students who has been training with Sensei Simon since a white belt. He is a very popular student in the club and regularly makes all the students laugh with his funny comments and stories. The club just would not be the same without people like Martin in it! He is a dedicated and committed student and his training is always consistent. On the grading day Martin showed that he has significantly improved since his Shodan-Ho and he was brilliant! His basics and combinations were all very good and clean, and his kata’s were well practiced and done to a good standard. In the kumite section he was unfazed and handled each opponent and situation very well. He even managed to make everyone laugh when he was partnered in a two on one with Sensei George! Even in a situation like that Martin is just a really funny guy! A very well deserved Shodan grade Martin. Congratulations, you should be really proud of what you have achieved. Keep up the great work!
Julie Dudley – Shodan
Julie is one of our adults with the strongest ability in the club. She has trained with Sensei Simon from a white belt and has always been a consistent and focused student in her training. Julie again supports everything we do, is very respected and is a great asset to the club. She has really good karate in all areas and this really showed at the grading. Her basics and combinations were to a good standard and she generally performed her kata’s well. Considering Julie had been ill in the week prior to grading she coped with everything brilliantly! Her kumite is always fantastic and she can hold her own and give any opponent a good run for their money while at the same time keeping it all controlled. Julie is now a Sensei in her own right and runs a very successful class on a Thursday in Fleetwood with a large number of students who all have a good standard. This is a testament to Julie’s own devotion to her karate. Brilliant work Sensei Julie. Congratulations on your Shodan and keep up the fantastic work you are doing!
Gavin Oliphant - Shodan
Gavin is another one of our great students in the club and again is a great asset. He has trained since a white belt with his son Alex, and later his daughter Daisy joined too. Sadly Alex wasn’t quite ready to grade in June, but we have no doubt his time will come soon enough. Gavin is another student who supports everything we do and we are lucky to have such brilliant people like Gavin in the club. He is an all-round nice guy with a big personality and is friendly with everyone he meets. On the grading day Gavin did very well, his basics and combinations were good and his kata’s had been practiced well. All the class training had paid off for Gavin and it was obvious he had listened hard to what he had been taught. Gavin did well too in the kumite and really worked hard. He had some tough opponents to spar but handled it all in a dignified and composed way. Gavin is another of our Sensei’s and teaches his own class in Poulton-le-Fylde on Friday evenings. His class is doing well, he is highly thought of and he is enjoying his teaching role a great deal. Congratulations Sensei Gavin on achieving your Shodan. Fantastic work and very well deserved!
Kieran Lydon – Nidan
Kieran is one of the clubs best young males and is a fantastic student to have. He started training with Sensei Simon around two years ago and is a very dedicated student. He is a lovely polite young man, with many friends in the club and is really enjoying his karate again. He is another of our students who supports everything we do and travels around quite a lot for his karate thanks to his dad Darren. Kieran has improved really significantly since his Shodan grade and this is obvious to anyone who knows Kieran well. On the grading day he was brilliant from start to finish, he has really good basics, although there are still a few areas where improvement is still being worked on. His combinations were very good and he also had to do left side Kihon Ippon. Kieran’s kata’s were extremely good and he performed a lovely kata Unsu. Kieran has also always had really strong kumite, he has brilliant kicks and punches and is now learning to control it much more rather than just diving in. The kumite rounds were particularly hard for the Nidan grade and he had to endure some very tough opponents but coped fantastically well. The future is very bright for Kieran if he continues to listen and apply what is being taught. Congratulations on your Nidan Kieran. A massive achievement and one you should be extremely proud of!
Nathan Crowther – Nidan
Nathan is another of our top young male students who has generally all round brilliant karate. He is a popular student in the club and has a close bond with Kieran Lydon. Nathan has trained with Sensei Simon since a white belt and has consistently trained three to four times a week. He has always enjoyed his karate but sometimes still needs to listen and apply what is being taught. On the grading day Nathan worked very hard from start to finish, he has really good basics and combinations and like Kieran he also had to do left sided Kihon Ippon. His kata’s were of a high standard and he did a really good Kata Suparinpei. Nathan is a little pocket rocket in his kumite and has lightening hand speed and good controlled kicks. He again had to endure some particularly tough rounds for his Nidan grade but coped well although some of his kumite should have had more technique and this is something Nathan needs to work on. If Nathan continues his training with good focus and attitude like he currently has, he again will have a really bright future. Congratulations on your Nidan grade Nathan. You’re doing really well keep up the great work!