On Sunday 23rd June we held our black belt grading for eleven students who were attempting the grades of Shodan-Ho, Shodan or Nidan.
Thank you to everyone who gave up their day to either be on the grading panel or assist with the grading - Senior Instructors Sensei Martin Thomas, Sensei Gavin Oliphant, Sensei Martin Wilmot, Sensei Del Knowles, Club Instructors Sensei Julie Dudley, Sensei Paul Webber and Sensei Jack Churchouse, and Junior Instructors Ben Churchouse and Alfie Appleby, as always your help and support is hugely appreciated.
The spectators at the side were of course as brilliant as ever. The atmosphere in the room was very supportive and it was great to see parents, family members and friends not only encouraging their own loved ones but every other student who was grading too.
This support is fantastic and it’s what makes our club so special. We have a terrific network of families around us and our reputation both as a club and a tournament squad team is definitely recognised and commented on regularly both at seminars and external competitions the squad attend.
To gain grades of Shodan-Ho, Shodan and Nidan 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.
William Marland – Shodan-Ho
William is a lovely polite student and has trained regularly at the Fleetwood dojo’s since being a white belt. He always tries his best in classes, is an absolute pleasure to teach and has come so far both with his karate and confidence. William rarely misses classes and he has made good steady progress throughout his grades. At the grading William worked hard from the start, he showed great kata’s and basics and his attendance of senior class has definitely helped his development. In the kumite section William kept his cool and just kept going no matter what, when pushed it didn’t particularly trouble him and he showed some great respect for sparring partners. Congratulations William – a very well deserved Shodan-Ho grade. Keep up the great work!
Lydia-May Geddes – Shodan-Ho
Lydia is one of our popular young female students in the Fleetwood dojo’s. She always works hard in classes, is a great student to teach and is friendly and polite. We have some great promising students within the club and Lydia is definitely living up to this expectation. Her effort and determination at her Shodan-Ho grading was very good. She has worked hard leading up to the grading and it all payed off for Lydia on the day, where she displayed good practiced basics and kata’s and some nice controlled kumite. Congratulations Lydia on your Shodan-Ho, you have made fantastic progress. Well done!
Georgia Jackson – Shodan-Ho
Georgia is another of our very talented young females within the club. She is an absolute pleasure to have in class, is always smiling and polite and tries her hardest at everything she does. Popular with other young females of her age Georgia has made lots of friends and has great support from her mum Sensei Karen as well as Sensei Gavin. At the grading Georgia was determined to let nothing faze her and she worked tirelessly all afternoon. Her basics, kata’s and combinations had all been practiced well and her kumite was good with nice control and distance. I’ve no doubt Georgia will continue with this fantastic effort and attitude as she progresses forward. Congratulations on your Shodan-Ho Georgia, brilliant work!
Max Gray – Shodan
Max is a great student to have in the club and an absolute pleasure to teach. Along with his brother Kieron he hardly ever misses training and this has definitely helped his confidence in classes. Max attends every event we hold and really enjoys his karate. He always tries his hardest in classes and is improving consistently. At the grading Max’s kata’s and basics were clean and he had a good understanding of what was expected. His kumite rounds were good and nice and controlled and he was not afraid to step up to a challenge. I am so pleased for this young man – he is an absolute credit to himself and his family and it was brilliant to see him achieve his Shodan grade. Congratulations Max keep up the fantastic work!
Emma Mackie – Shodan
Emma is a brilliant student to teach, she takes her karate very seriously and was determined to gain her Shodan grade no matter what. Despite her daughter recently having major surgery Emma was soon back in the dojo showing what a steely and driven character Emma has. Her attitude to her training is always fantastic and she tries her hardest at everything she does. At the grading Emma was very focused from the start – her attitude to every section was super switched on and she has significantly improved in all areas since her Shodan-Ho grade. Her kata’s, combinations and basics were all executed confidently, and she had lovely loud kia’s which was brilliant to see. Kumite has never really troubled Emma and once again she showed great composure, understanding and distance showing why she definitely deserved her Shodan grade. Congratulations Emma, you did yourself and your family proud. Well done!
Connor Mooney – Shodan
Connor is another great student who since returning to karate has tried hard in class. Connor regularly trains and then puts whatever he has been shown into practice, and overall, he has strong karate with good kimae. On the grading day Connor focused hard from the start he was very determined to get through each section as cleanly as possible. His katas were lovely and clean and had been practiced well, and in the kumite section Connor did try hard but when pushed his control and distance started to fade and he had to be reminded to keep them in check. Connor pulled it around though and finished the section well.Keep working hard in classes Connorand Congratulations on your Shodan grade
Karen Jackson - Shodan
Karen is another of our brilliant female adults in the club. She is a great student to teach and is always helpful and focused. As a Sensei she is excelling in teaching on Thursday evenings along with Sensei Kirsty and they are doing a brilliant job. Karen has come such a long way with her confidence and is finally starting to believe in herself more. After her Shodan-Ho grade Karen ramped up her fitness regime in preparation for her Shodan grade and this is something to definitely be applauded for. Karen always tries her hardest in classes and is a great student to teach, all her efforts and hard work are paying off and this was truly lovely to witness. Karen worked hard all afternoon at the grading, she was much more confident and determined in all areas than at her last grading and has significantly improved both in her kata’s and kumite. All areas were no trouble for Karen and her fitness level definitely helped her throughout. Congratulations Karen on your Shodan grade. Keep up the fantastic work you’re doing!
Kieron Gray - Nidan
Kieron is a very talented student who continues to improve all the time. He is very dedicated to his training and this is all really paying off for him. He is a fantastic student to have in the club and tries hard in every lesson. Attending both senior class and squad training on Friday evenings has definitely helped Kieron massively improve and he now has strong karate in all areas. On the grading day Kieron worked hard all day – he has considerably advanced since his Shodan grade - and was strong in all areas displaying some lovely kata’s and brilliant basics. In the kumite section Kieron showed maturity and control with some lovely kumite kicks and distance while at the same time having respect to his sparring partners. Congratulations Kieron on your Nidan grade. Brilliant work from you as always. Well done!
Kirsty Churchouse – Nidan
Sensei Kirsty is a great female role model to have in the club and is a really loyal supporter and fantastic student. Kirsty is one very determined lady and nothing gets in her way! She is doing a brilliant job as a Sensei on Thursday evening’s as well as being a great student in class and tries her hardest at everything she does. Kirsty has increased her fitness regime so she was fully prepared for her Nidan grade. This is an amazing attitude to have and her karate has and continues to improve all the time as a result. At the grading Kirsty worked really hard throughout and was determined to fulfil her Nidan grade. Her kata’s had been practiced well and she was confident going through them which was great to see. In the kumite section Kirsty worked and was pushed hard, but never gave in! Kirsty’s attitude is formidable and to see her achieve her Nidan grade was fantastic. Her sheer drive to succeed is fantastic, and she is always a pleasure to teach. Congratulations Kirsty, you thoroughly deserved your Nidan, very well done!
Oliver Spencer – Nidan
Oliver is a lovely and polite young man, who is a pleasure to have in the dojo. He has good all round karate and always tries his hardest in every class. Oliver has brilliant attendance and rarely misses a class. He is a popular student in the club and has made some good friends. He is a great role model for our younger male students to aspire to and he is a pleasure to teach. Oliver has really nice kata’s that are strong in all areas, as well as having good basics and combinations. He has continued to work hard since achieving his Shodan grade and all this has helped him to have strong karate in all areas as well as having good controlled kumite. On the grading day Oliver did brilliantly in every section, his focus and determination were clear to see, and all his movements were sharp and strong. His confidence has increased and it was great to see how much he has improved and could cope under pressure. Well done Oliver and many congratulations on your Nidan grade. Keep up the fantastic work!
Katie Knowles - Nidan
Katie is a great student to have in classes. She is kind and caring with a lovely gentle personality and she loves to assist in classes - teaching the younger ones along with her dad Sensei Del. Katie has all the attributes of a great leader and I’m sure would make a great Sempai in the future if this is something she wants to pursue. Katie has worked hard leading up to her Nidan grade – she has practiced both her kata’s and combinations endlessly and been put through her paces rigorously in Senior class by her dad, so she was very prepared for the grading day. Katie has trained in karate for many years now and her perseverance and determination is something for the younger students to aspire to. She never gives up and keeps going determined to make the next grade or to achieve those new combinations or kata no matter what. Katie did very well at her grading she gave every section her all and she did herself and her family proud. Her combinations and kata’s were all clean and in the kumite section she just kept going no matter what, while all the time being composed and respectful. She also smiled and sometimes even giggled during her kumite, coping brilliantly with this section and really helping her sparring partners to relax. Congratulations on your Nidan Katie. Very well deserved. Well done!