We have had a very busy November here at Musuko Karate Academy which has seen a lot of student’s grade to their next levels at the club Kyu grading and then on Sunday 18th November we held our Black Belt grading at Fleetwood for students who were eligible to grade.
The black belt grading had eight students who were attempting the grade of Shodan-Ho, Shodan or Nidan. Every student would have been obviously nervous and apprehensive at the beginning – and nerves are natural – but not one student ever considered giving up and quitting the grading and I’m extremely proud of each and every one of them for their sheer drive and determination.
Due to the dedication and hard work of instructors and students here at Musuko Karate Academy we had another 100% pass rate! After what was a bit of a ‘slow start’ getting everyone really focused and ‘switched on’ it turned out to be one of the best black belt gradings we have ever had!
Thank you to all the parents and family members who supported on the day, your support as always means everything and without you all giving up your time to drive your children around to all the classes and events our club wouldn’t be the great club it has become for everyone.
We must mention the people who kindly gave up their day to assist me on the grading panel - our specially invited Sensei, Senior Instructors Sensei Gavin Oliphant, Sensei Martin Thomas and Sensei Martin Wilmot, and helping out with the grading Sensei Jack Churchouse, Sensei Kirsty Churchouse, Junior Instructor’s Nathan Crowther, Taigen Swinburn, Ben Churchouse and Alfie Appleby and students Oliver Spencer and Jordanna Williams. Admin and preparation were once again superbly put together by Sensei Yvonne Crowther and drinks were kindly supplied by Eddie Peak. Thank you to each and every one of you. Your commitment to the club does not go unnoticed and I could not do days like black belt gradings without all your help.
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 black belt, 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 journeys only now truly begin.
Rohan Williams – Shodan – Ho
Rohan is a very dedicated student who has only been training with us for around eight months after joining us from another club. In the time that Rohan has been with us he has turned his karate totally on it’s head. When he joined us he won’t mind me saying that his movements were ‘rather wild and uncontrolled’ but he has worked hard and improved vastly. On the grading day Rohan did brilliantly from the start – he had very good stances and his kata’s were done to an excellent standard with lots of focus and kimae. Rohan had good combinations and stance work and showed some lovely understanding of hips. In the kumite section Rohan did struggle slightly to begin with and tried to outmatch his sparring partners – but he could be forgiven for this as this was his first grading with us and he has had no prior experience of our kumite sections. Rohan however soon settled down and started to show real composure and understanding when sparring and looked like he was really enjoying himself at the end and came through very strong. Congratulations Rohan a fantastic achievement – keep up the brilliant training and focus. A very well deserved Shodan-Ho grade!
Emma Mackie – Shodan-Ho
Emma is a great student who really enjoys her karate and takes it very seriously. Emma has worked hard leading up to her Shodan-Ho grade. She has trained consistently and attended all senior classes she could. She has always progressed well through her grades and her black belt was no exception. Emma is a quieter student so took quite a bit of prompting to overcome her nerves before we really saw the best of her. On the day after her initial nerves had diminished Emma cracked on with everything she was given with fantastic determination and focus. Her basics and stances were done cleanly and with understanding and her combinations had been practiced well. Emma’s kata’s were also very good and she had no hesitations at all during any of the kata’s asked of her. In the kumite section Emma worked extremely hard and was pushed more than ever before but she took every challenge she was given calmly and in control and showed some fantastic kumite skills. Well done and Congratulations on your Shodan-Ho grade Emma. Awesome work. Keep working hard now for that Shodan grade!
Karen Jackson – Shodan-Ho
Karen is another great female student who really enjoys her karate and is extremely consistent with her training. Karen can be really hard on herself and have a lot of self-doubt, but her confidence is beginning to grow and she is starting to believe in herself more. Karen was very nervous at the start of the grading but after some prompting, she got the better of her nerves and started to display some really good karate. Karen’s basics and stances were all very clean and precise and her combinations had been practiced well. She is very consistent with her training and this showed on the day. Karen also regularly attended senior classes and both have massively helped her leading up to the grading. Karen’s kata’s were done well and she showed no hesitation completing them, she had strong kia’s throughout all her kata’s and this really helped her to show good powerful moves. In the kumite section Karen has always been good and she showed again some great control, focus and understanding. She was totally unfazed by all her sparring partners and kept her composure when pushed very hard. Congratulations on your Shodan-Ho grade Karen, very well deserved. I look forward to seeing you continue to work hard towards your full rank of Shodan next year. Keep up the fab work!
Max Gray – Shodan – Ho
Max is a lovely gentle young man who always tries his hardest in classes and despite some injury setbacks has kept going and never given up. He regularly attends classes – rarely missing, and he is slowly growing in confidence. Max has worked hard leading up to his Shodan-Ho grade he has attended senior class and listened hard to everything he has been taught. On the grading day Max was very quiet as is his character and just calmly got on with the job in hand. He was determined to achieve his grade and did his best in every section. He showed good basics and stances and completed his combinations to the best standard he could although he tired very quickly. Max displayed kata’s which were generally good and he kept his focus and composure throughout. In the kumite section Max did brilliantly and really worked hard until the very end. I am extremely proud that Max has bounced back after his injuries and has kept a positive mind set and I know he will continue to work to the best of his ability to obtain his Shodan grade. Congratulations Max – great effort for your Shodan-Ho. Well done!
Naisha Patel – Shodan-Ho
Naisha is another of our younger students, she has been training well this last six months and has vastly improved since her 1st Kyu grade. She has been attending classes regularly as well as senior class and all this helped Naisha massively at her grading. Naisha’s focus has also significantly improved and if Naisha continued to apply herself she really could go far. She has always had fantastic hip work – well advanced for her grade – and her stances have cleaned up an awful lot. On the grading day after temporarily losing her focus at the beginning, Naisha found her niche and started to come alive. She displayed good stance work and combinations and very well practiced kata’s with good kimae. In the kumite section Naisha showed good control and understanding of distance and some lovely kicks which is one of her strong points. Great work from you on the day Naisha – Congratulations on your Shodan-Ho.
Paul Webber – Shodan
Paul is a fantastic student who always trains with every amount of focus and effort he can. He has always trained regularly, rarely missing classes and started attending senior class as soon as he could. He takes his karate very seriously and is always practicing when he can. Paul has worked really hard since his Shodan-Ho grade, he has kept his training up continuously and showed he was really ready to attempt his Shodan. On the grading day Paul gave 100% effort from the start, his basics and stances were very clean and his combinations were strong and with kimae. Paul did very well in his kata’s he displayed good relaxation and a good understanding of hips. In kumite Paul has always been very strong but in his last few gradings he has showed much more control and understanding of distance. He has never been troubled with sparring partners and now shows much more respect to whoever he is working with. Now he has attained his Shodan grade there are lots more challenges ahead for Paul as Shodan is only the beginning. Congratulations on your Shodan grade Paul – fantastic work. Thoroughly deserved!
Jack Southern – Shodan
Jack is a great young man who again has always trained regularly and tries his hardest in classes. He was the youngest student at the grading, but he didn’t let that faze him at all. Jack has continued to keep his training up since his Shodan-Ho grade, he has struggled at times but has kept going through sheer determination and came through strong on the grading day. He has really worked hard on his weaker points given after his last grading and all credit must go to him for this. Jack did really well on the grading day, after having a few issues concentrating early on in the grading – he really started to come into his own and then showed off all the training he has done over the years. Jack displayed some good basics and stances and in the combination section – one of the hardest things at a black belt grading Jack kept going and didn’t give up. In the kata section Jack was very calm and his kata’s were done well and with confidence, and you could see that they had been practiced well. In the kumite section Jack coped brilliantly and wasn’t bothered by any sparring challenges at all and was determined to keep going no matter what. Brilliant work young man! A very well deserved Shodan grade. Congratulations!
Del Knowles – Nidan
Del is a fantastic person to have in the club – he helps out in any way he can and very often does selfless acts of kindness. Del has always trained consistently he tries his hardest in classes and very rarely misses a senior class. Del worked hard leading up to his Nidan grade – despite having some long-term injuries – Del was determined to be fully prepared and really got stuck in at senior class. On the grading day Del was brilliant from the start with loud responses and great focus. He had good basics and stances and his combinations were significantly cleaner than when he attempted his Shodan grade. Del also displayed some great kata’s and showed he has vastly improved in all areas. In the kumite section Del showed some great control and distance, he kept going throughout and showed great respect to all his sparring partners. Congratulations on your Nidan rank Del – I am so pleased and proud of you. Fantastic work well done!
Chris Greenhalgh – Nidan
Chris is another great guy to have in the club – he has trained regularly since his Shodan grade and although having work commitments has got to classes when he can. He listens intently in the dojo and takes his karate seriously. He has worked hard leading up to his Nidan grade and on the grading day gave 100% effort from the very start. He had loud responses and great focus and was determined to do well no matter what. Chris showed generally good stances and basics and well-practiced combinations that were significantly better than his Shodan grade. Chris’s kata’s were really clean and taken with much more confidence than at his last grading, noticeably they were performed well with good focus showing that Chris has continued to grow in confidence. In the kumite section Chris was pushed very hard but he kept his composure, not once losing his temper and really showed his strong character that he has built up over the years. I am really pleased how Chris did – as Nidan gradings are not easy but Chris handled it all extremely well. Congratulations on your Nidan rank Chris – very well done! Keep up the great work!