Darwen Grading Results: Saturday 16th June 2018

Congratulations to all of the fantastic students who graded at our Lancashire grading held in Darwen back in June.

Sorry this write up is so late!

There was a such wide range of students grading with us, some for the first time to orange belt, and others right up to the grade of first kyu. The standard in the area especially the kihon was really impressive. Everyone is so hard-working and eager to please and it was a pleasure to watch. There is marked improvement each and every time we see students from the Darwen and Blackburn area so well done to the Instructor’s, Assistant’s and Cadet’s, you are doing a top job.

We had some guests from the Bolton and Bury classes and they all did brilliantly too.

Some of the students going to yellow belt were absolutely fab including – Hannah Towler, Harris Beeston, Callum Gillibrand, John Oliver, Thurston Cassidy, Zahra and Hanna Taimoor. Lots of these students are already training twice a week and you can tell the difference. They were excellent.

Two students successfully attempted their green belts Antony Cristoforo who is a really good standard adult and Zeeshan Malik from Blackburn who has been a very dedicated member over the years and has really improved.

Well done to our new purple belts, Jane and Owen Gregson, Mehak and Kainat Raza and Hasim Khan, you all put in so much effort and deserved your belts.

We have 4 new purple and white belts – Grace Merriman who was outstanding as always, Danika Wood, Chloe Scott and Elliot Rigby who had all made massive improvement in their technique, concentration and effort. Well done.

The following students graded to 3rd Kyu Brown Belt and above and this takes a lot of hard work and many years of dedication. Huge well done to you all and keep up the great work!

3rd Kyu

William Cristoforo – What a fab little student and Cadet Leader William is. His karate is excellent, he puts in 110% every time he trains and his standard for his age is exceptional. This is one little man with a huge talent and if he keeps up the great effort and stays committed, he has everything it takes to become a great Black Belt and a potential future Student of the Year. Paul Sensei was so impressed that he awarded William the Student of the Grading trophy. Awesome work young man.



Hsanat, Hammad and Hirra Ahmad – The Ahmad family are progressing absolutely brilliantly, they train 2/3 times a week every single week without fail. All three are lovely kids with lots of talent and enthusiasm for karate. Hirra is a real strong and powerful young lady who works really hard and always tries her best to listen and improve. Her kumite is fantastic, her Katas are beautiful and there are no weak areas in her karate. Hammad has been a superstar, after suffering a broken leg earlier in the year he has battled his way back to full fitness and improved immeasurably between 4th and 3rd Kyu. He has been very determined to improve his fitness and his overall standard is getting really good. Hsanat has also grown in confidence more recently and is performing really well both in lessons and at events. He is very dedicated and determined to get better and needs to learn not to be so hard on himself, we all make mistakes and it’s just part of the learning process. At least he can smile and have a giggle about it. He should be very proud of himself for getting to brown belt in such a short space of time at such a young age. Well done Team Ahmad.


2nd Kyu 

Reuben Smith – Reuben is a brilliant student and an absolute pleasure to teach. He has been training with us for many years and is one of the most promising students in the area. He just needs to start believing in himself. Reuben had a fab grading and worked his socks off from start to finish. He was a deep shade of red by the end of the warm up because he tries so hard. The standard he has reached at such a young age is very rare indeed and it just shows what can be done when you are committed as Reuben. We are very excited to see just how amazing Reuben will be by the time he goes for his Black Belt. Keep up the great work.


1st Kyu 

Simon Mattinson – Simon has taken his time since his last attempt and grading and come back better and more determined than ever. He had made good progress and was much more confident with his katas, combinations and jiyu-ippon this time around. He was very focused and worked really hard throughout the grading and was completely exhausted by the end. It must be very satisfying to know that you gave every last ounce of energy you had and all of your effort paid off. Black Belt next, well done and good luck!

Edison Chan – Wow, what a performance from this extremely talented teenager. Edison has been training with us for many and has always stood out for all the right reasons, he’s sharp, dynamic and eager to please. There are no weak areas whatsoever in Edison’s karate and he seems to enjoy it all. Always smiling, polite and hardworking he must be an absolute privilege to teach. Edison is also Student of the Year material and if he keeps up the excellent work, will make an outstanding Black Belt.

Thomas Collin – Another excellent student, we really are spoiled with the talent in the Darwen area. Thomas is fantastic, he works really hard at every class which means his karate is always awesome. Paul Sensei always comments on how hard Thomas tries and how strong he is. Thomas has made an conscious effort to tidy his karate up considerably rather than throwing wild techniques and over-trying, he is sharp and accurate and when he lands a kick or punch you still know about it, but he has much more control. Thomas is making outstanding progress and will be an amazing Black Belt in the near future, well done.

Scott Whalley – Scott is an absolutely top bloke and a very committed student. He is the first to hold his hands up and say he’s not the most naturally gifted Karateka, but he really enjoys training and is making good progress. I don’t think anybody tried harder than Scott at the grading and what he may lack in technique and remembering things, he more than makes up for in work, rate, guts and determination. His commitment and consistency in his training has really paid off for him and this was the best we have ever seen him do. We look forward to helping him reach his Black Belt to complete the hat-trick of black belts for team Whalley!

Huge thanks to the Instructors and Cadet Leaders who helped out on the day and work really hard in the area week in, week out to get the students prepared and ready for the challenge. The parents and supporters in the area were amazing as always and really do appreciate everything you do to enable your loved ones tp continue to progress on the karate journey.