What a way to kick off the year! We held our first Club grading of 2016 for the students training in our South Manchester, Warrington and Cheshire classes and the standard was very impressive (as always) in this area.
There was lots of students taking their first full grade of orange belt and even more returning for the second time and successfully grading to red belt. Although there is not as much work to do as those going for the higher grades, the energy and enthusiasm from both lower grade groups was excellent. They were all mad keen and eager to impress the Instructors. Amber Smythe and the Curtis family all did brilliantly and stood out in these groups. We look forward to seeing how you all progress and continue to improve.
The students grading to yellow belt were also excellent, especially when it came to the kumite. Students who stood out in particular include: Tom Healey, Alex & Amy Hudson, Jerry Lin, the Glew family and Tilly Goman. It was fantastic to see them working so hard and reaching their potential. Both Heian Shodan and Heian Nidan were pretty good too considering how young most of the group were. Keep up the good work!
Green belts and purple belts are always difficult grades to get as the combinations are much more challenging and you are starting to learn more complex katas and kumite drills. There is a lot to remember which can be especially hard for the younger students. I think it is fair to say that what some lacked in knowledge, they more than made up for in sheer effort and hard work. The determination from this group was there for all to see and there are some future superstars coming through.
The purple belts attempting purple and white belt tried really hard throughout. There were outstanding performances from Pete Stansfield and Sophie Bradshaw. Other students had made marked improvement including the Saxon and Azura Sparbier, Bella Herbert, Owen Rice and Joel Angus.
There were six students up for the challenge with 4 taking their 3rd Kyu Brown Belt and 2 taking 2nd Kyu Brown Belt with a white stripe.
The pressure at this level is relentless and you could see that all 6 students were 100% determined to earn their next belts. We pride ourselves on making sure that our higher grades and pushed to the limit and really could look after themselves should they ever find themselves in a tough situation and all of these students showed great spirit and worked tirelessly from start to finish.
We always say a few words about each person as there are so many people who start the road towards Black Belt and so few who actually get this far. Congratulations to the following people who are fast approaching achieving this goal:
3rd Kyu Brown Belt
Joseph Shakos – Both brothers have outstanding talent and always put in 100% effort every time they train. We were particularly impressed by Joseph as he has worked hard to improve the presentation of his Katas and combinations and is really starting to shape up to be a great Black Belt when his time comes. He is very young and very keen and we are excited to see just how good this lovely young man can become. Well done Joseph and keep up the hard work.
Samuel Shakos – Samuel is a little superstar. I don’t think I have ever seen him work harder than he did for his brown belt. His kumite and kicking was exceptional as always and he has also improved his Katas. Both Samuel and Joseph are Cadet Leaders and we feel very privileged to have them setting such a good example to other young students. Congratulations Samuel – what a star! Keep up the effort and you will continue to get better and better.
Aryd Sparbier – Aryd was arguably one of the most improved students at the grading. It has been a long time since he took a grading and was very low in confidence last time we saw him. He has improved tremendously since then and must have been working hard with Sensei Lorraine in order to improve and learn everything he needed to achieve his brown belt. His patience and persistence has paid off and we were very impressed with all three Sparbiers on the day. Well done Aryd. 2nd Kyu is next!
Matthew McCabe – Matthew has been training in karate for a number of years now and is a very dedicated young man. He has improved a lot between purple and white belt and brown belt and he was made to work really hard for his belt. His Kata was tidy and he has worked hard on his combinations. He was spirited in the kumite and overall was this was the best we have ever seen Matthew perform. Well done, you have made your Instructors really proud.
Phoebe Lord – Phoebe is another student who has improved significantly since she last graded. Her kumite was excellent and this girl is certainly not one to be messed with. She can look after herself – no doubt! She was also awarded the Student of the Grading and beat off some very strong competition. Her Katas were much better than we have ever seen from her before and after a nervous start, she gained confidence and by the end of the grading she knew she had earned every inch of that brown belt. Well done missus, you are starting to meet your potential. You are a lovely young lady and fab Cadet Leader. Keep it up!
2nd Kyu – Brown Belt with a White Stripe
Bonnie-Rae Adams – What a wonderful young lady. She has been stuck on her grade for a long time, suffering injury setbacks and battling illness but has managed to remain positive and keep up her training throughout. Her karate is really starting to take shape and her Katas were amongst the best we saw all day. Once she gets a little older and her strength comes, she will be a brilliant student. She set a fab example to others on the day and was completely exhausted by the end of the grading. She did so well to keep going in the kumite section when it would have been easy for her to give up – she refused and continued to push on and keep fighting. What a superstar – Well done Bonnie-Rae and well done Mum for not running on! Hahaha!!!
Thomas Tabner – I want to start off by congratulating Thomas on his Belt, as he well and truly deserved it on the day. He fought bravely throughout the grading especially in the sparring and was a man on a mission. The improvement he has made over the last two months has been remarkable. He has always shown great potential, but used to lack in concentration and effort at times. However, that said, we have never seen him more focused and determined in classes than he has been recently. He’s been turning up early, asking for help and working really hard at every lesson. We are delighted that Thomas has earned his 2nd Kyu and made so much extra effort to improve. We would like to see him keep up that marvellous work as we can really work with his talent and turn him into a great student. This is exactly how you make a great come back from a disappointing experience at a grading. Well Done Thomas, the whole of the Denton class are proud of you!
Big thanks as always to the parents, relatives and supporters on the day. You are what keep the students going when they are tired and have had enough. You really do make the difference.
Massive thanks to our team who enabled us to run another smooth event. We cannot do this without the help of our Instructors who gave up their time on the day, work hard at their own Karate, teach RTK students week in – week out and make sure that they are ready for assessment. Each and every one of you are such an important part of the Clubs’ continued success. Big thanks to – Mike Beckwith Sensei, Steve Dargan Sensei, Lorraine Schofield Sensei, Brandon Lee Sensei, Dave Robertson Sensei, Connor Cherry Sempai, Nicci Adams Sempai and Danny Silverwood who is one of our top Cadet Leaders. Your dedication is appreciated by all.