Our last grading of the year was held at Life Leisure in Reddish, Stockport for students training in our South Manchester and Cheshire dojos. There was a fantastic turnout and an awesome atmosphere as students attempted grades from 9th Kyu orange belt right up to 1st Kyu brown belt with two white stripes.
We are pleased to report that the vast majority of students successfully passed their next belts and the standard was very high.
There was a large number of students grading to their orange and red belts (including almost all of Debbie Sensei’s Timperley class) and they all did brilliantly. Some of the adults including Angela Evans, Tina Brown and Jo Manby were superb. Another stand-out performer was Emily Knox, who despite being just 5 years old and small enough to put in your pocket, put on an almost faultless performance. Well done!
There was more outstanding effort from the yellow and green belts. It is clear to see that we have some more superstars in the making including; Giuseppe Pezzino, Khuram Gill, Adam Paksy, Sam Lees and Ella Williams. The adults; Rob Vernon, Mario Pezzino, Oliver Jackson and Anthony Greenough worked really hard in this section and thoroughly deserved their belts – well done.
Onto the purple belts and purple & white belts and there were more excellent students who continue to improve rapidly time after time. Noah Vernon, Jonathan Seaton, Rosie Morriss and Ethan Green were all brilliant and we have to mention Graham Jenkins who has made remarkable progress and is shaping up to be one of our top adults. There were no weak areas in his karate and he gave it 100% from start to finish.
We always mention by name the dedicated ‘few’ who make it to brown belt and above and once again there are loads of them. This truly is a testament to the standard of teaching in this Club as increasingly, there are more and more students making it to brown belt and beyond. Students are happy, they are sticking around and progressing in the right way. Brown belt is a massive achievement and one to be extremely proud of, so congratulations to the following students:
3rd Kyu – Brown Belt
Juliette Stevinson – What an incredibly talented young lady, Juliette is focussed, hard working and naturally gifted. She has outstanding kicks and makes consistent progress between each grade. A fantastic young prospect and we know there is so much more to come! Keep up the good work.
Therese Stevinson – Therese is another fantastic adult and a lovely lady. She trains hard, has beautiful Kata and is very dedicated; training twice a week – every week. She is starting to show signs of increased confidence which is great to see, because once she starts believing in her own ability, she will be brilliant. Well done.
Daniel Hartley – Daniel is exciting young prospect indeed. He is very dedicated and trains constantly. Everytime we see him at events he is putting it in, red faced and working up a sweat. He was awesome on the grading day and has made good progress. Well done Daniel, keep it up!
2nd Kyu – Brown Belt with a white stripe
It is worth mentioning at this point that we had a couple of students who didn’t quite make it to 2nd Kyu and must go back to their classes and improve their Katas and Jiyu Ippon. Both Thomas and Chris did work extremely hard in the basics and everyone can have an off day. We would hate to see either lad give up at this point as they have both come so far. Lets focus on what went wrong, get it fixed and try again. You are almost there!
Ryan Tabner – Ryan has always been a shy student with very little self-confidence. We have seen a positive turn-around in this young man over the last twelve months. He has started to train more which has helped him get stronger and pick everything up more quickly. He has attended one of the toughest dojo’s in the Club – Heywood and since then, he trains with more focus. He worked hard for his 2nd Kyu and deserved it. Well done and keep it up.
James Sherlock – James Sherlock is one of the most exciting young talents in the Club. He is one of THE BEST Cadet Leaders we have. He sets the perfect example of how we would like the juniors to train and he put in an outstanding performance to earn his 2nd Kyu. His Katas were fantastic and his kumite and fighting spirit was just marvellous. Well done James, we have no doubt you are going to make an excellent Black Belt.
Wilf Adams – What a brilliant little pocket rocket! What Wilf might lack in technique, he more than makes up for in sheer effort, fighting spirit and confidence. We all enjoy teaching Wilf as he is a little star! Cheeky chappy with a great little attitude, he trains all the time and does the best he can. His focus on the grading day was better than ever and as he gets older, he is improving and listening more which is fantastic. Well done Wilf and keep it up.
1st Kyu – Brown Belt with a double white stripe
Hannah Ormiston – Hannah is a very beautiful young lady who packs a very mean punch! Don’t be fooled by the good looks. This is one tough cookie who did brilliantly in the kumite and worked tirelessly throughout the grading. She has improved a lot between 2nd and 1st Kyu and will need to work on her katas a little more towards getting her Shodan. Well done Hannah. Black Belt next!
Nathan Cook – Nathan is a lovely young man who is looking really sharp and focused. He has improved considerably between 2nd and 1st Kyu and is beginning to grow in confidence as he apporaches his Black Belt. He put in a solid performance and despite being withdrawn from the kumite after getting injured, he was willing and ready to carry on! Spot on attitude Nathan, Well done!
Paul Smith – Paul was arguably the most improved student we saw on the day. He has started to relax and this makes everything easier to do. His karate no longer looks awkward and he is able to flow from one move to the next with relative ease. He has retained his strong kumite and has made outstanding improvement in all areas. His combinations were sharp and he worked so hard and looked thoroughly exhausted by the end. Well done Paul and keep up the good work.
Georgie Dyal – What a wonderful young lady Georgie Dyal is. She started karate back in 2009 and has been such a dedicated little superstar over the years. She has worked her way through the grades making steady and continued improvement and is a fantastic Cadet Leader for Karen Sensei. Georgie now trains 3 times a week and you can really see the time and class in her karate. She was exceptional on the grading day and not only earned her belt, but was also awarded a Student of the Grading trophy. Well done and well deserved missus.
Joshua Knox – Joshua was also awarded a Student of the Grading trophy because he was outstanding from start to finish. He was the picture of concentration throughout and he proved he is an incredible talent. Although it may help having a Dad who is not too shabby at karate, Joshua is catching up fast! We can detect a lot of practise going on at home and this has clearly paid off! It certainly looks like it has done him the world of good training with the likes of Matthew Affleck, James Sherlock, Adam Karabedian, Arrvin Singh Bhakkar and Louis Johnson. All are exceptional in their own right and Joshua has finally arrived as one of our top juniors. He’s always had the ability, the difference is the confidence, which he now has bags of. Well done little man!
Matthew Affleck – What can we say about Matthew that we haven’t already said over the years? He just gets better and better. Students like Matthew do not come along very often at all. He is a very rare talent indeed with a quality to his karate that just cannot be taught. He is exceptionally talented and makes everything he does look so easy and natural. Matthew is everything you would want your student to be and more. We are all jealous of the Instructors who get to teach him! His attitude is humble and mature. His work rate and fitness is extraordinary. His kicks and his kumite are the very best part of his karate, he shows understanding of distance and perfect timing. His Katas are repeatedly practised and corrections are made instantly. He has ironed out any bad habits he used to have and will be an amazing Black Belt. We are lucky to have students like Matthew in our Club to keep us motivated and staying on our tippy toes! Well done, you are just awesome.
So, to bring the results to a close we must thank all of the parents and supporters who sat frozen solid in the hall! I thought it may have added to the students agony if we would have asked for the heating to be switched on so we do apologise about the cold. You all sat patiently and supported your loved ones throughout and they couldn’t do it without you.
A big thank you also to the Instructors and Assistants who helped us out on the day and work tirelessly to prepare and motivate the students for the grading, they really are the unsung heroes of the Club. It is days like these that really make you appreciate your Instructors so much more. They all do a fantastic job, week in, week out and we are very lucky to have our amazing team.
Looking forward to next year already!