We held a large club grading at Cardinal Allen high school on Saturday 8th November for students attemping their yellow belt right through to one student attempting his first Kyu.
From the start it was clear it was going to be a fantastic one! Everyone was humble and supportive and that really showed on the day.
A big thank you must go to the parents and family members who watched from the sides for your fantastic support to all those grading on the day.
We need to mention too a special thanks to Sensei Gavin, Sensei Julie, Junior Instructors Nathan Crowther, Kieran Lydon and Dylan Hickman and Junior Sempai Jack Churchouse, for helping out with the grading as well as being a massive support to Sensei Simon.
Every student who attempted their next grade did fantastically well, and all successfully passed after putting in 100% effort and focus. There were a lot of very young white and yellow belt students grading, but they all did amazing and were really well behaved..not easy for a grading that was three hours long!
Congratulations to Lauren Welsh who was double graded from 8th Kyu orange belt straight to her 6th Kyu red belt. Lauren is one special young student who karate comes naturally to. Her kata's are now becoming as strong as her kumite and we are excited about seeing Lauren progress and grow through her grades.
The red and blue belts had to kumite for quite a long time in order to see how their stamina and fitness coped and well done to them all in gaining their next grades. A special mention must go to Daisy Oliphant, 4th Kyu, who for only seven years of age can remember and do all her kata's brilliantly as well as being fantastic at kumite! And also to Elliott Bertram, 4th Kyu, who was pushed particularly hard by Sensei Gavin and Sensei Del, well beyond his comfort zone, but for someone eleven years of age coped amazingly well. Both students are certainly ones to watch for in the future!
Congratulations to Yvonne Crowther and Clare Hardman who were both awarded their Sempai belts, we are sure they are both going to make great Sensei's in the future.
We must give a special mention to any students gaining their brown belt and above as this is a senior grade and it takes many years of training and dedication to achieve these Kyu levels.
Taigen Swinburn - 2nd Kyu: Taigen has been training with Sensei Simon for a number of years now and in the last 12 months has improved greatly. Taigen has upped her training and now trains regularly at least three times a week. She is a fantastic student to have in the club and is an inspiration to all our younger female students. Taigen is certainly going to make an awesome black belt in the future! Well done Taigen, fab work as always!
Katie Knowles - 2nd Kyu: Katie is a lovely student who trains regularly and rarely misses a class. Katie worked really hard at her grading and no one could fault her effort and determination. She showed that she has listened and watched when being taught and she did everything that was asked of her. Katie just needs to have more confidence in her karate and she will improve even more. Well done Katie and keep up the great work!
Lucy Hulme - 2nd Kyu: Lucy is another young student who is great to have in the club and is a talented all round karate-ka. Her kata's were well practiced and her kumite is formidable especially her kicks! Lucy is brilliant at her stretching and regularly takes the stretching sessions at the Astley class - showing everyone else how it should be done! Well done Lucy keep up the fab work!
Derek Knowles - 2nd Kyu: Sensei Del assists Sensei Simon at the Astley and Culcheth dojo's showing that he is a great teacher and leader. On Saturday though he also showed his karate off and what a fantastic effort it was! Sensei Del has improved so much since his last grading, showing some great kata's and kumite skills. He was pushed really hard in all areas, but kept his focus and drive and coped brilliantly. Sensei Del is a fantastic adult and asset to have in the club and supports everything we do. Sensei Del was absolutely exhausted by the end but what a performance! Congratulations Sensei Del, brilliant work!
Christopher Morley - 2nd Kyu: Chris is a truly lovely guy who thoroughly enjoys his karate. Chris has always had awesome sparring skills but on Saturday showed that he has really stepped up a gear and now his kata's are becoming as good as his kumite! Chris' spirit at his grading was formidable, he sparred for a very long time and even though he was pushed to and beyond his limits he never gave up. Exceptional work Chris, Congratulations!
Martin Wilmot - 2nd Kyu: Martin is another great guy to have in the club. He has great all round karate with nice kata's and lovely controlled sparring. He is another student who is totally devoted to his training and very rarely misses a class. Martin did fantastic on Saturday and thoroughly deserved his 2nd Kyu. It was a double celebration for Martin who was also awarded his Sensei belt and will be helping Sensei Gavin with all the current and new students at the Bispham dojo. Congratulations Sensei Martin on achieving both your 2nd Kyu and Sensei belts, both thorougly deserved!
We had one student attempting his 1st Kyu at the grading, not an easy task, especially on your own!
Ben Churchouse - 1st Kyu: Ben is a lovely boy who is only twelve years old and he has been training with Sensei Simon since he was a white belt. He is a quiet and shy student but his karate has come such a long way. On Saturday at his grading Ben showed spirit, character, strength, endurance and focus way beyond his years. He had to perform kata's on his own in front of a packed room full of students and spectators, but Ben kept his mind on the job in hand and handled the situation brilliantly. In the kumite Ben was kept going the longest of any student there, and had to spar all the adults plus Sensei Gavin and Sensei Julie, then a two on one with Nathan Crowther and Kieran Lydon before finally finishing off sparring Sensei Simon. Phew! By this time all the room were supporting him and there were chants of 'Ben,Ben,Ben' by some of the younger students in the room. Everyone was so impressed with Ben and he so absolutely deserved his 1st Kyu! Massive Congratulations Ben, awesome work!! Next belt - Black belt!