Musuko Karate Academy

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Black Belt Grading Results - June 28th 2015


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!


Fleetwood Grading Results - 14th June 2015.

We held a large club grading at Cardinal Allen high school on Sunday 14th June for students attemping their yellow belts right through to two students attempting their first Kyu belts.

Yet again we had a 100% pass rate, and we must thank Sensei Gavin and Sensei Julie for supporting Sensei Simon and helping to keep the standards of students so high. Each grading seems to go from strength to strength! 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 also need to mention a special thanks to the following people for helping out with the grading and being a massive support to Sensei Simon:-  Sensei Martin Thomas and Sensei Martin Wilmot, Junior Instructors Nathan Crowther, Kieran Lydon and Dylan Hickman, Sempai Clare Hardman, Junior Sempai’s Brandon Crowther and Jack and Ben Churchouse, and student Chris Morley.

The grading was divided into two sections to make it better for everyone involved. The first section had a lot of students attending their very first grading and a number of these were very young, we also had all the yellow belts and the very young orange belts in this section too.

It was great to see them all giving so much focus and effort to their karate and they all worked really hard throughout the grading. There were some very talented students and definitely ones to watch for the future! Harry Waterhouse was brilliant for his first grading and along with a number of other youngsters was fantastic to see, well done to you all!

We must congratulate Paul Webber who double graded from 9th Kyu yellow belt to 7th Kyu green belt and showed he has the karate bug, and what it takes to make a great Karate-Ka.  He was pushed quite intently in the kumite section but coped brilliantly. Well done Paul!

Huge congratulations as well to Bayley Swinburn who also double graded from 9th Kyu yellow belt to 7th Kyu green belt. Bayley has a really high standard of karate and was thoroughly deserving of her double grade. She is an absolute pleasure to have in the dojo and she is very dedicated and trains twice a week. Bayley was brilliant in all areas at her grading and has a lovely and clean technique. She is a great student and certainly one to watch for the future. Very well done Bayley, fantastic work!

The second section had students who were aged 8 years and over orange belts plus the remaining Kyu grades so it was a brilliant cross section of students. Yet again from the start all attempting grading went straight into giving it their all and really showed off their abilities to the max. There were a lot of very red faces and not one student was lazy. The effort and focus from all was superb! All of the students worked extremely hard and Sensei Simon was particularly impressed with the kata and kumite sections.

Once again there were some outstanding students who continue to amaze us - Lauren Welsh who showed beautiful kata and kumite skills, Lauren is an absolute natural at karate and we very much look forward to seeing her progress through her grades.  Jessica Shovelton is another student who has come such a long way in such a short time and continues to inspire us with her continued confidence. Well done girls!

We must congratulate - Jon Mockridge who double graded from 8th Kyu orange belt to 6th Kyu red belt and showed us all why he thoroughly deserved to.  Jon has only been training for around nine months, and after sitting and watching his daughter Ellie for a number of weeks he decided to join in, and now his wife Vicky also trains! The Mockridge’s are a pleasure to have in the club and we are so glad they decided to join Musuko Karate.

On a sadder note Jon and Vicky’s daughter, Ellie, was unfortunately not able to take part in yesterday’s grading after a trampoline accident during last week. We all wish Ellie a speedy recovery and look forward to her hopefully returning soon and gaining her new shiny belt!

Kieron Gray also deserves a mention as he was chosen to grade to 4th Kyu by Sensei Simon after a relatively short period of time. Kieron has fantastic karate and is an absolute pleasure to have in the club. He was brilliant in all sections of the grading and coped with the Kumite sections really well. Kieran is another bright star of the future and one all the younger male members of the club can really look up to. Well done Kieron, you thoroughly deserved your 4th Kyu belt.

We had quite a number of students who graded to 3rd Kyu and above. To achieve a senior level grade takes many years of training and dedication and therefore it is only right these students deserve a special mention by name.

Kirsty Churchouse – 3rd Kyu
Sempai Kirsty is a dedicated student who regularly trains three times a week. Along with her husband Gary and sons Jack and Ben they are one of the clubs complete families who train here at Musuko Karate. Sempai Kirsty is very determined and didn’t allow anything to faze her at her grading. Kirsty worked very hard throughout and did really well. She had a particularly difficult two on one sparring session from Sensei Julie and Sensei Martin Thomas and showed when the going gets tough Kirsty digs deep! Sempai Kirsty also helps assist Sensei Julie at the Fleetwood dojo on Thursday’s so is also showing great leadership skills. Congratulations Kirsty and well done!

Elliott Bertram – 3rd Kyu
Elliott is another great student who regularly trains three times a week. He is a loyal supporter of the club and attends every course or seminar available. Elliott is now starting to gain in confidence with his karate and this is starting to show through. His kata’s are coming along nicely and his effort in class is really improving. He dug deep in the kumite sections at the grading and was pushed to the limit, but kept his cool. He was brilliant when he had to endure a two on one sparring session from Junior Instructors Nathan and Kieran, he just kept on going and going even though he was exhausted! Fantastic work Elliott, keep it up!

Charlotte Bertram – 3rd Kyu
Charlotte is a little firecracker who has brilliant kumite and strong kata’s. She, like her brother Elliott, trains three times a week. Charlotte is one of our strongest young females in the club and has great potential. Charlotte really likes to get stuck in with all her training and it shows when she is pushed at grading’s. We are sure Charlotte will continue to go from strength to strength. Congratulations Charlotte, brilliant work!


Oliver Spencer - 3rd Kyu

Oliver is an absolute pleasure to teach in the dojo and is a really lovely and polite young man. He did exceptionally well on the grading day and worked really hard. His kata's are sharp, practiced well and have loads of focus and in the kumite section he was brilliant and showed great determination and spirit. Oliver is definitely a student that can go all the way to black belt and we look forward to seeing him achieve and progress through the higher grades. Well done Oliver keep the great work going!

Jacob Greaves – 3rd Kyu
Jacob started training with Sensei Simon a number of years ago and has always been a pleasure to have in the dojo. Jacob tries hard at every lesson and is a real steady horse. There is not many lessons that Jacob ever misses and we commend him for this. At his grading Jacob just got on with the job and tried his best in every session. He showed some lovely kata’s and kumite and showed he was really ready for his next level. Well done Jacob, great work!

Joanne Taylor – 3rd Kyu
Sempai Joanne has been training at the Chorley dojo for a number of years now and always tries her best at every lesson. She listens intently to what she is being taught and tries to then relay this in her training. Joanne worked really hard at her grading, and her effort and focus were outstanding. Joanne has some strong kumite skills and can at times give the men a run for their money! Well done Joanne, keep up the great work!

Sammy Taylor – 3rd Kyu
Sammy trains with his mum Joanne on a regular basis. Sammy is always a pleasure to teach and gives every lesson he attends 100%, working really hard at every lesson. Sammy did really well at his grading and worked through each section solidly. His kata’s are nice and clean and his kumite is steady and controlled. Well done Sammy you really deserved your next grade! Keep up the fab work!

John Lacy – 3rd Kyu
John is another student who trains at the Chorley dojo, along with his wife Michelle and sons Luke and Isaac. John is a thoroughly nice guy and again a pleasure to have in the club. John tries hard at every lesson with his kata’s and in kumite can deliver some great kicks!  John has improved a great deal since his last grading, he has now much more cleaner and controlled karate and this particularly showed at the grading in the kumite section. We are sure John will continue to improve even more. Keep up the great work John. Very well done!

Luke Lacy – 3rd Kyu
Luke did really well at his grading. He was emotional at times but kept going and didn’t give up and that’s what it’s all about. He performed his kata’s neatly and coped well in the kumite section. Luke just needs to have a little more confidence in himself although we are sure this will come in time as he is still fairly young. Well done Luke you showed you had what it takes to get to brown belt. Keep going, you can do it!

Tobias Adjetey-Hilton – 3rd Kyu
Tobias is a great character to have in the club and he has improved so much in the last twelve months. He is consistent with his training and always tries his best at every lesson. He has clean technique in both his kata’s and his kumite, and it’s great to see how far he has come. We are sure Tobias will continue to improve and look forward to seeing this at his next grading. Well done Tobias, fab work!

Pierce Moon – 3rd Kyu
Pierce has been training with Sensei Simon at the Chorley dojo for a number of years now and was one of the grading’s biggest surprises of the day! Pierce was brilliant and absolutely worked his socks off from start to finish! His face was red throughout and his spirit and determination were outstanding. Nothing fazed Piece yesterday and nothing was stopping him from gaining his 3rd Kyu! He coped amazingly well in all areas and showed real strength of character. Fantastic work Pierce, Congratulations!

Derek Knowles – 1st Kyu
Sensei Del assists Sensei Simon in the Astley and Culcheth dojo’s and is a huge asset to the club. He supports everything we do and we cannot fault his loyalty. Sensei Del is another student who has greatly improved since his last grading. He has upped his training and this was clear to see on the day. His kata’s were controlled and clean and in all areas he was focused and determined. The kumite section was particularly hard as Sensei Del was one of the students to spar the longest but he coped with every round brilliantly. We are very much looking forward to Sensei Del attempting his black belt in the near future. Congratulations and well done Sensei Del, brilliant work!

Taigen Swinburn – 1st Kyu 
Taigen is another of our very talented girls in the club, and one that our younger female members can look up to. Taigen has sound karate in all areas and she showed it off beautifully at her grading. Her kata’s were well performed and she upped her game in all areas, including some awesome kumite! Sometimes Taigen can let her confidence get the better of her but when grading yesterday and attempting her 1st Kyu she didn’t!  Taigen was on top form! The future is very bright for Taigen and we look forward to seeing her attempt her black belt soon. Congratulations Taigen, very well done!

Sensei Gavin's Class - Change of venue! Commencing 12th June 2015.

Sensei Gavin's dojo is moving due to the current location building closing down. The new class day will be Friday evenings (instead of Thursday's) but the class time will remain the same 6.30 - 7.30 pm.

The new location takes affect from Friday 12th June onwards.

The new class address is:

Carleton Memorial Hall

Moorfield Avenue


FY6 7QE.

Please note there will be no more Thursday Bispham classes!

We hope as many of you as possible that currently train with Sensei Gavin can continue to do so. The new location is fantastic with a lovely main hall and lots of space to train in.

If you unfortunately can't make the Friday evening class due to other commitments, there are other classes available in the week to train at,  including a Thursday evening class held in Fleetwood (all available to view under 'Classes' on the website).

For those of you who would like extra training on a Friday please go along and support Sensei Gavin's class. You will all be very welcome.

We wish Sensei Gavin every continued success with his class in the new hall.

Fleetwood Grading Results - 15th April 2015.

We held a small grading in Fleetwood for a number of students from white belt to red belt who were attempting their next grades.

All of the students did extremely well in what was an intense grading. The white belt students were brilliant and if there were any first time grading nerves they certainly didn't show!

Some really good kata's set the tone for the whole grading and we have students showing great potential for the future.

A big well done to our three new 7th Kyu green belts Rebecca Catlow and Clare and Jerome Anthony. All three are very talented students and have lovely karate with some brilliant stances.

A special mention must go to Harvey Atkinson who was the only student on this occasion grading to 5th Kyu blue belt and therefore had to do a number of kata's on his own. No easy feat! Harvey coped brilliantly throughout his grading and was impressive in both the kata and kumite sections. His dedication to his training is paying off and his karate is coming along beautifully. Well done Harvey and keep up the great work!

Congratulations to all who graded we very much look forward to seeing you all progress and develop through your belts.

Fleetwood Grading Results - 29th March 2015.



The March grading held at Fleetwood had students from the Astley, Bispham, Chorley, Culcheth  and Fleetwood dojo’s attending and it was our best club grading so far! The students involved were from white belt through to three students attempting the grade of 4th Kyu purple belt, and the standard and effort was fantastic to see!

Thank you to Sensei Gavin Oliphant, Sensei Julie Dudley, Sensei Del Knowles and Sensei Martin Wilmot who assisted with the grading. Also thanks to Sempai Kirsty Churchouse, Junior Instructors Nathan Crowther, Kieran Lydon and Dylan Hickman and Junior Sempai's Brandon Crowther, Jack Churchouse, Chelsea Grundy, Charlotte and Elliott Bertram for helping on the day with the grading.


The remaining students grading, all of various Kyu grades, along with Jacob Adjetey – Hilton, who has been training for a long time and always tries his best, again showed fantastic karate basics, as well as great kata and kumite skills, and Jacob rightly so deserved to be awarded his 4th Kyu purple belt.

The students grading from red to blue belt were all very impressive, and showed there is some real talent coming through from this Kyu level. They all had to step up another gear in this grading and really gave it their all and they were all truly fab.

The students grading to 4th Kyu purple belt – Yvonne Crowther and Georgia Chapman,  were pushed particularly hard and had to endure a lot of kumite, and even two on one kumite sessions! Their very red faces at the end showed how hard they both worked and all the room was supporting them in their final kumite round. Well done! You remained calm and focused in both kata and kumite - not easy when all eyes are on you, and you both coped brilliantly!

Congratulations to each and every student who attempted their grade as everyone successfully achieved their next belts. You should all be extremely proud of yourselves as you all worked really hard for your next Kyu level.

Well done, keep that focus and continue to train hard!














Student Congratulations! - Black Belt Grading November 2014.

After much thought and deliberation we have decided to do a personal touch on the Black Belt grading write up.
It is difficult to put into words on a website, (and doesn't really do them justice), at what each of those students who graded have personally achieved in earning their black belts. Plus, at the likelihood of sounding cheesy and repetitive, most of it would have already been said before during a previous grading write up.
By giving a personal message to the students that graded, it's something that they can keep and look back on in years to come...after all it's a special grading, so it deserves a response of something a little bit different to anything that has come before!
Nevertheless they should all still be named for the benefit of everyone in the club, so that they can recognise and share in their accomplishments. The successful Black Belt students are:

Dylan Hickman                    Gavin Oliphant             Julie Dudley              Brandon Crowther
Laighton Worthington        Alfie Appleby                Alex Oliphant            Rebecca Worthington
Martin Thomas                    Jack Churchouse         Chelsea Grundy

All of the above students did fantastically well! They are a very special group of people and are a credit to their own dedication and commitment to karate. All those years of training really paid off for every single one of them at their grading.
Along with the personal messages will be grading feedback from Sensei George and Sensei Simon, so that each student will know their stronger and weaker points to work on for their next level. The messages and feedback will be given out to the respective students in their classes within the next couple of days.
We are sure that everyone here at Musuko Karate Academy will join us in a Huge Congratulations to the above students on their fantastic achievements in their karate journeys so far.



Fleetwood Grading

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!

Grading pre-assessment Sunday 2nd November 2014

Location: Cardinal Allen High School, Melbourne Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 8AY

1 - 2 pm for White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, Blue, Purple belts

2..30 - 4pm for Brown and Black belts

All students who have been invited and are hoping to grade in November must attend this pre-assessment course where you will be observed by the Chief Instructor. The assessment is designed to put you through your paces and see if you are ready for your next grade.

For all students who have been selected to attempt the grade of Shodan-Ho or Shodan at the end of November it is absolutely vital you attend this pre-assessment. Failure to show at the assessment will result in you NOT being allowed to grade.

Grading slips will be given out to all successful students at the end of the assessment.

The cost of the assessment is £5 per person. Please sign in and pay on the day.


Club Grading Saturday 8th November 2014

Location: Cardinal Allen High School, Melbourne Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 8AY

2 - 5 pm: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, Blue, Purple, Brown and 2nd Kyu belts

Please aim to arrive 15-20 minutes before the grading starts so you have plenty of time to sign in. Remember to bring your pads and mitts and a drink.

Family and friends are allowed to watch and take photos but strictly no videos please. Could we also ask that you remember to set all phones to silent.


Black Belt Grading Sunday 23rd November 2014

Location: Cardinal Allen High School, Melbourne Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 8AY.

12 - 4 pm for all selected students

If you are attempting grading please make sure that you bring all your kumite equipment, a towel and something to keep you warm between sessions. You will also need to bring plenty of drinks to keep you hydrated.


This is not an open grading. Only students and their invited family guests are allowed to attend and support on the day.

Invited guests are more than welcome to take photos but please keep to the side of the hall and do not disturb the concentration of those grading. Can we ask strictly no videos please during the grading, with the exception of any presentations at the end.

More information about the grading will be on the black belt grading slips.


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