On Sunday 11th November we held a very large grading for students nervously taking their first steps onto the grading ladder of 9th Kyu Yellow belt all the way through the grades to students attempting their 1st Kyu grade – the last Kyu grade before black belt.
We once again had a 100% pass rate – and I am proud of the high standards that as a club we are now renowned for – yes in arears there can still be improvements made and some students will have feedback to work on – but as a group largely the standard is brilliant.
I shall start as always thanking those who helped and supported the grading on the day – I always say this but without these people’s valued assistance, days like gradings would be impossible tasks to hold. Thank you then to Senior Instructors Sensei Gavin Oliphant, Sensei Martin Thomas and Sensei Martin Wilmot. Club Instructor’s Sensei Del Knowles, Sensei Jack Churchouse, Sensei Kirsty Churchouse and Sensei Paul Webber. Junior Instructor’s Nathan Crowther and Taigen Swinburn, Sempai Karen Jackson, Junior Sempai’s Brandon Crowther, Danni Williams, Ben Churchouse and Katie Knowles. And to students Paul Preston, Jordanna Williams and Rohan Williams. Thank you also to Sensei Yvonne Crowther for all the admin work, time and effort put into preparations for the grading.
The room was packed with family members and friends all keen to support their loved ones and also everyone else grading too, for some parents this was their first experience of a club grading – and we hoped you enjoyed watching your children or family members from the sides. Everyone was brilliant and really took on the role of getting behind the students – particularly in the kumite section – clapping and encouraging them all on until the very end. Parents and Carers thank you for your continued support – we are extremely lucky to have such supportive and encouraging families and your lovely comments and actions are really appreciated.
As it was Remembrance Sunday we started the grading with asking everyone to stand for a minute’s silence – there were an awful lot of people in the room and some of our students were only five years of age but the silence was upheld impeccably and you could have heard a pin drop – it was a lovely touching tribute to all those that sacrificed their lives for the sake of others – and the minutes silence was ended with a rousing round of applause from everyone.
As mentioned, we had a lot of young students grading – some of those were attempting the grades of yellow belt and very excited to be in their first club grading! All the white belts - both younger and older students, worked really hard all afternoon. They looked like they really enjoyed meeting new people and seeing the higher grades perform. Well done to you all – Congratulations on your new yellow belts and keep up the great work!
The same can be said for students going from 8th Kyu Orange belt to 4th Kyu Purple belts – there are some fantastic students coming through the ranks – and it’s really great to see students evermore progress and advance within their karate. There were some real noticeable differences in development for some students from the last grading – and it was clear to see that these students had increased their training hours and had been working extra hard in classes.
We always mention by name those students who gain the Senior grade of 3rd Kyu Brown belt and above – these students have been training for a number of years and have been determined to overcome challenges within their karate. Their sheer drive to continue moving forward is what gains them these high grades so we personally Congratulate each and every one of the students named below:
Abigail Mackie – 3rd Kyu
Abigail is a lovely gentle girl who always tries her best in every class, she is a real pleasure to teach and has some great friends within the club. Abigail very rarely misses classes and has trained with Sensei Simon since a white belt along with her mum Emma. Abigail is very determined and is consistently improving within her karate – she has not always found certain aspects of her training easy but when Abigail overcomes these it makes it all that bit more special and worthwhile, and it’s an absolute joy to see her achieve her personal goals. Abigail worked hard all afternoon at her grading and was very determined to achieve her senior grade, she did every section with a smile on her face and never once thought of quitting. Abigail had practiced her kata’s well, and she coped brilliantly in the kumite. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu Abigail, very well deserved. Keep up the great work!
Oliver Preston – 3rd Kyu
Oliver is a quiet young man – who just calmly get on with his training, he is extremely polite and seems to be enjoying his karate. Oliver always concentrates and listens hard in classes and tries his best at everything he does. He regularly trains along with his dad Paul and is a pleasure to have in the dojo. Oliver did very well at his grading, his katas were of a good standard and were executed well. He had good clean basics and some nice stances and he showed that he had been working hard leading up to his grading. Oliver worked extremely hard in the kumite section and coped brilliantly despite having some challenging rounds. Oliver is starting to gain confidence in all arears of his karate and this is something we will continue to work with now he is eligible for senior class. Well done Oliver, keep up the great work! Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu!
Ella Chalk-Derby – 3rd Kyu
Ella as one of our younger female members is a great student to have in classes – we can be forgiven for thinking Ella is actually older than her age because she is so tall! She is a very mannerable student and seems to be enjoying her karate. Regularly training along with her mum and sister – Ella always tries in classes and is progressing well through her grades. She is now beginning to take her karate more seriously as she gets that little bit older and this is now reflecting in her standard more. Ella worked very hard at her grading – she focused throughout all day and was determined to give each section her all. She had well practiced kata’s and good understanding of basics. In the kumite section which is one of Ella’s stronger points she coped fantastically well in all arears and was easily able to cope with all sparring partners she was given. Well done Ella – Congratulations, a well-deserved 3rd Kyu! I look forward to seeing you in Senior class as you progress towards your black belt.
Nicola Snowden-Pears – 3rd Kyu
Nicola is one of our talented adult females within the club, she trains along with both her husband and two children – who are also brilliant, and she is doing really well! Nicola is a fantastic student to have in the dojo, she listens intensely to everything she is taught and then puts it straight into practice. A popular member within the club, Nicola has lots of friends and they have a fab time together both in and outside the dojo. Nicola worked extremely hard at her grading she completed every section fully and showed some lovely basics and kata’s. In the kumite section Nicola was pushed further than in previous gradings and at times looked like she was struggling a little – but she dug in and was determined to see her grading through and get that Brown belt. Congratulations Nicola – a very well deserved 3rd Kyu grade! I look forward to seeing you in Senior class now.
Laura Brogden – 3rd Kyu
Laura is another of our great adult females and another really lovely and popular student. She is a very dedicated student and along with son Henry they very rarely miss classes. Laura was super keen to attain her Brown belt as she is really looking forward to starting senior class, a valuable class for all 3rd Kyu’s and above. Laura has improved since her 4th Kyu grade and from the very start of her grading was determined to give each section her all. She had some lovely clean basics and good kicks and her kata’s were clean and had been practiced well. Again, like Nicola, she struggled a little in the kumite section as she hadn’t experienced that amount of intensity before – but she gritted her teeth and kept going throughout showing great spirit and determination. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu Laura, brilliant work!
Lisa McKenzie – 3rd Kyu
Another brilliant adult student Lisa is very determined and doesn’t really let much get in her way – despite major surgery on her wrist she was soon back in the dojo training away and determined to get that next grade! She trains regularly with her two children and is super keen to improve herself in all areas of her karate. Lisa always tries her best in the dojo and we consider ourselves lucky to have such great females training in our classes and helping to set the bench marks for other female students who are lower grades. On the grading day Lisa worked tirelessly all afternoon, she didn’t let anything faze her and gave every section her all. Despite taking a knock to her wrist in the kumite section she took everything in her stride and coped brilliantly all day. Like Nicola and Laura, Lisa is also super keen to start Senior Class, and I look forward to seeing her continue to improve as she works towards her black belt. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu Lisa – very well done. Keep up the fab work!
Gary Churchouse – 2nd Kyu
Gary one of our male adult students – is a great member to have in the club and another of our students who is determined to succeed no matter what. Gary a popular guy within the club has his wife Sensei Kirsty and Son Sensei Jack along with Junior Sempai Ben to keep him in check and he is doing a great job making them all super proud! Gary is always very supportive of everything we do and is a great character to train around, he always tries his hardest in classes and never gives up if he doesn’t get something at first – which says a real lot about his character. Gary worked very hard at his grading and despite carrying a personal injury didn’t let that stop him going for his 2nd Kyu. He completed all his sections well and showed some well-practiced and clean kata’s, and nice basics. In kumite Gary has earned himself the nickname ‘Rocky Balboa’ for his formidable long arms and lightening quick speed! Gary seems to thrive in the kumite section and although being pushed hard he didn’t let anything faze him at all. Well done Gary! Congratulations on a very deserving 2nd Kyu – keep up the brilliant work!
Ocean Patel – 1st Kyu
Ocean is one of our popular younger members of the dojo and is quite a character to have around. He trains regularly along with his sister and is starting to make good progress in his karate. A popular member with our younger students Ocean is good natured and always polite. Since attending Senior class – Ocean has started to become more attentive in lessons and he has significantly improved both in concentration levels and stances. Ocean worked hard at his grading – he didn’t stop all day and was pushed hard in each section as he was going for his final Kyu grade. He showed some good practiced basics and kata’s – something that he’d been working on in Senior class – and some well controlled kumite. When pushed in the kumite section – Ocean didn’t lose his temper, held his control and kept pushing forward showing he has gained character in this area since his last grading. Well done Ocean – Congratulations on your 1st Kyu – next stop Black Belt!
William Marland – 1st Kyu
William is a lovely polite young student and a real pleasure to teach in the dojo. He always tries his hardest in every lesson – listening attentively and then putting it into practice and he is now growing both in confidence and ability. A brilliant student to train around he is a popular member within the club and like many of our other students is very loyal and supportive in everything we do. William has significantly improved since his last grading – something that was pointed out to me on the day from other Sensei’s, and all his lessons at Senior class are definitely paying off for him. William worked tirelessly all afternoon – showing some lovely basics, good clean kata’s and lovely stances. In the kumite section William was pushed harder than ever before – and he definitely came out on top showing real steely determination and a character that was absolutely superb! Congratulations on your 1st Kyu William – absolutely brilliant! I look forward to seeing you attempt your black belt grade next year!
Lydia – May Geddes – 1st Kyu
Lydia is a fabulous student to have in the dojo and is vastly improving all the time. She is working very hard at her karate and it’s all starting to pay off for Lydia now. An absolute pleasure to teach, Lydia is a lovely popular girl who always listens well in classes and tries her hardest at everything. She has significantly improved since her 2nd Kyu and she seems to be really enjoying her karate. Lydia worked tirelessly all afternoon at the grading and coped with all sections brilliantly. She had very clean basics and stances and good practiced kata’s and executed them all with real confidence. In the kumite she was pushed harder than in previous gradings – but coped with all situations well and was very determined to succeed showing good control and movement. Lydia is now starting to believe in herself much more and this is really good to see! Well done Lydia. Congratulations on your 1st Kyu – keep working hard towards that black belt next year!
Georgia Jackson – 1st Kyu
Georgia is an absolutely lovely student to teach and a real delight to have in the dojo. A popular member with other girls of her age Georgia is super talented and has progressed through all her grades well. Along with her mum Sempai Karen Jackson she rarely misses classes and is a very loyal and supportive student. She always tries her hardest in classes, is extremely polite and always has a lovely smile on her face. Georgia has trained really hard leading up to her 1st Kyu grade and was very determined to successfully achieve her new belt. At the grading Georgia displayed well honed basics and kata’s and had some lovely kicks and stances. In the kumite section she handled everything well and was unfazed by all opponents, even in the two on one section right at the very end. I am extremely pleased how much progress Georgia has made and I look forward to seeing her attempt her black belt grade next year. Very well-done Georgia – Congratulations on your 1st Kyu.