We held a Kyu grading in Rochdale on Sunday 7th February for students training in the North Manchester and Lancashire areas. As always this grading was a busy one, with students attempting their first full grade of 9th Kyu Orange belt, right up to the highest level of 1st Kyu.
The effort on the day from all students was just superb. All of the Instructors were very proud of the students that they put forward and we are pleased to report that there were no unsuccessful students this time around.
The day was so successful in fact, that three adults were double-graded. Gill Baichoo and Victoria Foreshaw were graded from orange belt straight to yellow belt and David Smith was graded from red belt straight to green belt. All three adults were very impressive, well done and keep up the great work!
We had some fantastic lower grades, lots of little orange belts coming through to and a few new red belts. They all trained really hard and showed fantastic kihon.
There was a large group of students achieving yellow belt which is great because they have been around for about 12 months and are clearly still thoroughly enjoying their training. A couple of students travelled all the way from Lancaster to grade to Yellow Belt, they were Millie Dodd and Zoe Asu Fubarra – what awesome commitment to your training, well done! Both girls showed a high standard and made Mike Baron Sensei very proud.
As we move on towards the higher grades there were some really strong candidates and a few future superstars! The green belts going to purple belt did really well. Matthew Greenwood and Joel Purvis have made fantastic progress since we saw them last and we were really pleased for them both.
All of the other children in the group were also excellent, particularly Corey Stevens from the Little Lever class who was awarded the Student of the Grading for giving it 110% effort from start to finish.
This lad really has something special and it is no surprise to his Instructors who see him trying this hard at every single lesson. He was delighted to receive his award and was thoroughly deserving.
The group grading to purple and white belt were youngest and best we have seen for a very long time. They all knew their combinations, katas and kumite drills and tried exceptionally hard in the basics. Lola Girault was excellent as always. She has really lovely Katas. The Atkins twins – Daisy and Frazer who travelled all the way from Wilmslow were also brilliant. Kevin Longthorne and Joe Finney also stood out for their effort and awesome kumite! What a fab young group and we look forward to seeing them progress further and achieve their Brown Belts in the near future.
The next group of students achieved the grades of 3rd Kyu Brown Belt and above. It takes years of hard work and dedication to get this far and it takes some longer than others. That said, you have all achieved a very high standard and should feel proud of yourselves for getting this far. The hard part for some is staying motivated towards getting your Black Belt. However, this group of people in particular are highly motivated and ambitious to succeed. They are all progressing brilliantly and we look forward to helping them achieve everything they want to. Congratulations to you all.
3rd Kyu Brown Belt
Kai Foley – What a great performance from a lovely lad. He was spirited throughout the grading and really dug deep in the kumite to finish what he started. His Katas have improved and he is an excellent Cadet Leader for Emma Ginn Sensei. He set a great example and we are all proud of him. Keep up the good work young man.
Daniel O’ Neill – Dan has improved tremendously between 4th Kyu and 3rd Kyu and has really tried hard with his Katas in particular. He has bags of talent and trains twice a week every week. This is enabling him to progress quickly and he is amongst the first from the Reddish area to make it to Brown Belt. Well done Daniel and keep working hard.
Michelle Baron – We all love Mrs Baron, mother of our National Champ Grace and the exceptional and super-cute Izzy, wife to the extraordinarily talented Mike Sensei. However, she gets no favours from us on the grading day and would want them. Michelle earned her Brown Belt all on her own. Her hard work, her sweat and tears and we couldn’t be more proud of her. She did brilliantly and made all of the Red Tiger family proud. She battles with low confidence and has to train sporadically due to work commitments but make no mistake, when Michelle gets those mitts and pads on, you know about it! She is as tough as they come and when she finally starts believing in her ability and stops doubting herself. She will be amazing. Well done Michelle, keep pushing on!
Su Matthews – Another extremely talented lady, Su Matthews was awesome on the grading day. It really was the day for girl power! Su was 100% focussed and determined throughout the grading and has trained so much, she made the grading look easy. She has fully prepared herself and we love working with Su. She is never satisfied with where she is up to and continually looks for ways to improve. Her karate is excellent and she is fearless when it comes to the kumite. It doesn’t matter who her partner is, she goes through them like a train! Keep up the excellent work Su and we are sure that you will continue to improve and keep working hard.
Ron Matthews – Already a Red Tiger legend and only just got his brown belt! Ron is a brilliant student and a great character to have in the Club. He is fully supportive of everything we do and is always encouraging others to do better. He has bags of energy and enthusiasm and he makes those around him work harder without even knowing it. The chap has a focused stare that could rival Paul Wolstencroft Sensei’s! His kumite is outstanding for his level, and it is easy to see why he did so well at the JKS Nationals. He plays the game brilliantly and as his technique improves, so does his sparring. He won’t be happy with his performance after making a couple of mistakes but should try and see this is a good thing. A learning experience. He will be more determined next time around to make no mistakes whatsoever! Well done Ron, keep it up!
Reese Matthews – Reese has come a long way on his karate journey and has everything a person needs to be an excellent karate-ka. He has bags of energy, is flexible and hard working when he’s on it. It was awesome to see him training with focus and determination again yesterday. He has shown great strength of character to come back after going home disappointed at his the last grading. He has improved, worked on the things he was asked to and returned with a much better attitude. Well done young man, hopefully you will now be able to fulfill that amazing potential you have, keep up the concentration and good attitude you showed on Sunday and we can achieve some great things!
1st Kyu Brown Belt with a white stripe
John Davies – John has worked very hard over the past few years and attends training three times a week-every week. He is a great assistant and really enjoys his karate. He has made awesome progress and is really starting to train like a Black Belt. His karate is very strong and it really does work. John has improved his Katas and his combinations looked great. He sets an excellent example to his daughter Millie who is an extraordinarily gifted 2nd Kyu but couldn’t grade with John, as she has just broken her arm. You really showed her how it is done and we think you did brilliantly. Well done.
William Hanlon – What a ditermined young superstar William has become. He was so focused throughout the grading and is another outstanding talent. We are delighted that everyone could watch and appreciate how good someone can become when they start at a young age and just work really hard. William is very dedicated, training twice a week every week and has made steady improvement at every grading. He is so close to his Black Belt now and looked sharp and impressive for his 1st Kyu. Just keep on doing everything you are doing, Tony Davies Sensei and Kylah are clearly doing a great job with you!
Blake Smith – What a cheeky chappy. Blake is a very like-able young man and showed some essential qualities needed for someone to become a great Black Belt. He worked tirelessly throughout the grading and showed he had an excellent standard. Then disaster struck and he injured his quadricep during the Kata. He knew he had his last Kata to go and the kumite section in order to complete the grading. He was 100% determined to finish what he had started and earn his grade. He sparred carrying this injury for 20 minutes and managed to do really well. He fought numerous Instructors and put together some great combinations. The spirit and bravery shown by this young man was quite inspiring and we want to say a massive well done for being a star! Keep up the great work and awesome attitude, Black Belt is next!
As always, we’d like to say a massive thanks to the parents for supporting their loved ones at this event. Without you, we have no club. Also thanks to our dedicated Instructor team who helped out on the day and taught sections. Every single one of you play a vital part in the continued success of our Club and events like these could not be put on without your hard work and support. Thanks also to the Cadet leaders and assistants who stayed back to help, your contribution is greatly appreciated.