On Sunday 10th March we held our first club Kyu grading of the year at Cardinal Allen High School Fleetwood, for students attempting their first grade of 9th Kyu yellow belt right through to one student attempting their 1st Kyu grade.
I am pleased to say we had a 100% pass rate on the day – this is partially due to the pre-assessment - where students are looked at prior to the grading day and failed at this level if they are not ready to move forward and need more time; and to the Instructor Team and Sempai’s who do a fantastic job week in, week out dedicating their time to teaching students and preparing them for their next grades.
Each grading is very different from the last but the dedication and high attendance numbers remain the same and a big thank you must go to the parents and family members who commit their time to driving their children and family members to classes and observing and supporting from the sides both at classes and on grading days.
We had a number of students attending their very first grading and some of these were very young, all the white belts worked hard all afternoon and handled the grading and what was asked of them brilliantly. Well done to all our new yellow belts!
The grades of our new 8th Kyu Orange belts to 4th Kyu purple belts also worked extremely hard throughout the grading and there are some students with brilliant potential coming through the ranks, some of these students have increased their training from once to twice a week and it definitely showed! Well done to everyone within this group – Congratulations on your new belts. Keep training hard and attending classes regularly and the grades will come.
We always mention by name those students who have obtained the grade of 3rd Kyu and above as to get to these grades takes many years of determination, effort and commitment.
Obstacles sometimes come up to challenge you, particularly in these higher grades and lots of doubts can form. The battle is always within yourself, and the development of a student’s character will always deify if they will make it to a black belt ranking and beyond.
Hamish Collins – 3rd Kyu
Hamish has trained at the Lowton class for a number of years and in the past six months has increased his training to twice a week. Hamish is a very quiet natured student who is always pleasant in class and has improved greatly since his last grading. On the grading day Hamish tried his hardest all day, he is starting to put more kimae into his kata’s and his kumite skills are also better with a little more understanding. There are still a number of significant things Hamish needs to work on before moving forward in his grades, but he has immediately started senior class since obtaining his 3rd Kyu and is showing a great attitude to his training. Well done Hamish, keep working hard and those grades will come. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu!
Rachel Wilmot – 3rd Kyu
Rachel has been training at the Blackpool dojo’s and has steadily progressed through her grades. She rarely misses classes and is dedicated to her training. Rachel tried her hardest on the grading day and has significantly improved since obtaining her 4th Kyu. Her kata’s and basics were a lot cleaner than at previous gradings and she seemed to carry much more confidence when going through her stances. Rachel did struggle a little in areas of the kumite section when pushed and her kumite is something that still needs work to increase her understanding of distance and control, however she kept going and didn’t give in despite being very tired. Now Rachel is a 3rd Kyu grade she needs to start regularly attending senior class to develop her further and help her obtain her higher Kyu grade levels, black belt and beyond. Well done on your 3rd Kyu Rachel - keep working hard. Congratulations!
Nick Snowden-Pears – 3rd Kyu
Nick is one of our great adult male students in the club, he has a fantastic attitude to his karate always giving 100% in classes and rarely missing any training sessions. He is an absolute pleasure to teach and tries his hardest at everything he does. Nick continues to improve from grading to grading and now he has started senior class I’m sure this will increase even more. Nick was brilliant at the grading – he worked tirelessly all afternoon and gave every section his all. His basics and kata’s were nice and clean and he handled every kumite section confidently with great kicks, blocks and punches all the while respecting all his sparring partners, showing how much he is improving in this area. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu Nick – a thoroughly deserved grade!
Lorna Lightfoot – 3rd Kyu
Lorna is another fantastic female student with a great attitude towards her karate. She is an absolute pleasure to teach and is now taking her karate very seriously. She is starting to believe in herself much more and her great dedication towards her training saw her awarded with the role of Sempai at our yearly presentation evening back in December. Lorna did brilliantly at her grading she took everything in her stride and worked hard all afternoon. She is attending senior class regularly and this has helped her kata’s and stances improve greatly. Well done Lorna, great work - you should be very proud of your progress. Congratulations on your 3rd Kyu.
Nicola Snowden-Pears – 2nd Kyu
Nicola is another of our amazing female students who has a fantastic approach to her karate training and rarely misses any classes. She is an absolute pleasure to teach with a great personality and is always smiling. She always gives 100% and tries her hardest at everything she does. Nicola is a regular trainer of senior class and is improving vastly in all areas because of this. On the grading day Nicola worked hard all afternoon her kata’s were tidy and taken with great confidence, her basics were lovely and clean and her kumite had great distance and understanding. Nothing really troubled Nicola all afternoon and I am really pleased with her progress. Very well-done Nicola – a very deserved 2nd Kyu. Congratulations!
Mandy Chalk – 2nd Kyu
Mandy is a fab student to have in the dojo, she is a pleasure to teach and always tries her hardest at everything she does. Regularly training and rarely missing classes including senior class, Mandy is very consistent and has a great attitude both in regular and senior classes. She is starting to make good progress but needs to believe in herself more now to gain confidence within her karate and to continue to enable her to move forward. Mandy did really well on her grading – there were no issues in any sections and all her stances, basics and kata’s were executed well. In kumite Mandy handled all her sparring situations well and showed great maturity and understanding with distance and control. Well done Mandy – keep training hard. Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu!
Lisa McKenzie – 2nd Kyu
Lisa is a very committed and passionate student who always gives 100% in classes and takes her karate very seriously. Lisa trains regularly in classes rarely missing and has also started senior class and all this has brought her karate on in great strides. Lisa’s great attitude and dedication to her training saw her deservedly awarded the role of Sempai in December and she is doing a fantastic job helping out in classes when asked. Lisa is a natural teacher and leader and I have no doubts would make a brilliant Club Instructor in the future. On the grading day she worked hard all afternoon and every section was taken with a great steely determination and focus. Congratulations Lisa keep up the fantastic work – a very well deserved 2nd Kyu!
Laura Brogden – 2nd Kyu
Laura is a brilliant student and another of our fantastic female adult students. She is a pleasure to teach and has a fantastic attitude to all her training. Laura has showed great promise and focus in classes and was recognised for this by being awarded with the role of Sempai back in December at our awards evening. Laura a regular attender of senior class, continues to go from strength to strength and significantly improve between her grades. A brilliant effort from Laura all afternoon showed why she deserved her 2nd Kyu and nothing really troubled her throughout the grading. Her kata’s, basics and stances were all very strong and in the kumite section Laura was outstanding – despite taking a slight knock she carried on with a fantastic and steely attitude and showed how far her character in karate has developed. Brilliant work Laura – Congratulations on your 2nd Kyu!
Matthew Lacy – 1st Kyu
Matthew has trained at the Chorley dojo for a number of years now and really enjoys his karate. He very rarely misses classes, arriving at the dojo early to practice his kata’s before the class start and to go through combinations. He is a brilliant student to teach, always listening and paying attention to everything he is shown, and he isn’t afraid to ask for feedback of anything he is unsure of. Matthew enjoys challenges in training and will practice endlessly until he gets it right. Matthew has waited longer than most to achieve his 1st Kyu but now knows he needs to increase his training – something that I have already spoken to him about, before moving forward again. Matthew has a great attitude though and understands that this is essential for his development as he prepares for his black belt ahead. He worked hard all afternoon at his grading and after a nervous start completed all basics, kata’s and kumite strongly and with confidence showing he has significantly improved in all arears since he last graded. Congratulations on your 1st Kyu Matthew – a very deserving grade!