North Manchester & Lancashire Grading Results – 8th February 2015

Congratulations who all the students and families who successfully passed their next grades at our North Manchester & Lancashire grading last weekend.
There were students grading from white belt to orange belt and all the way up to 1st Kyu which is the grade just before black belt. It was a fantastic grading with some superb karate on display. All students had clearly been very well prepared by their Instructors and worked tirelessly throughout the two and half hour grading.
We tried out a new grading format which made it much easier to assess the white belts and they all did brilliantly. Sensei Mike Beckwith put the white belts through their paces and they all did exceptionally well. They were so good they managed to finish their assessment early and were able to watch the higher grades and Instructors in action. There was a Student Of The Grading trophy up for grabs in this group and Sensei Mike was very impressed by Aaron Jefferson from the Helmshore dojo. Sensei Mike commented that Aaron was sharp and focused and is a definitely one to watch in the future.
Congratulations to Sensei Teresa and her Heian Shodan group for winning the white belt kata section and thanks to Sensei Mike and all the Instructors and Cadets who helped him assess the white belts.
There were some very promising students to watch in the higher grade section too which was led by Sensei Paul. There were some superb adults grading on the day including Sarah Meredith, John O’ Donovan and Mark Murphy all grading to yellow belt and Ron & Su Matthews grading to purple belts. All showed an excellent standard proving that training multiple times a week is paying dividends. Well done.
We also saw some outstanding juniors including – Ethan and Jacob Kirk grading to green belt, Molly Austin Hogsden, Emily & Olivia Roberts-Fox grading to purple belt. Leah Duckworth and Ellis Pindoria-Stott  were as impressive as always going to purple and white belt. These really are superkids and will make excellent brown belts when their time comes.
We should say a big thank you to everybody who took part on the day, especially the parents and supporters who enable our students to grade and keep them going when they’ve had enough. Massive thanks to all the Instructor team who helped out, taught sections, or helped with the administration on the day. You always do a great job and we could not run successful events like this without your assistance, expertise and support.
Finally, thanks to all the Cadet Leaders who volunteered to stay behind after completing a hard Cadet Leader class to help the Instructors and encourage their fellow students throughout the grading. Ben Duckworth, Ashley Walls, Grace Baron, Kylah Lawson and Lori-Ann Moran, you are all stars. Thank you.
We always mention by name the special students who have achieved brown belts, 2nd kyu and 1st kyu because to achieve these grades means that they have been dedicated to their training over a number of years and have reached a high level.
Congratulations to the following students:

3rd Kyu Brown belt

Will Keogh – Will has made excellent progress between purple and brown belt and is really starting to improve. His kumite and kicks are fantastic and he has been working hard to improve his katas, Well done Will and keep it up.
Sophie Blake – Sophie has a great attitude and has excellent attendance. Her katas looked really nice and tried hard in the kumite in a tough group. Congratulations Sophie and keep up the good work.
Blake Smith – Fantastic effort from a fantastic student. Blake worked hard throughout the grading and has achieved an excellent standard with his training so far. He has very impressive katas and did brilliantly when sparring. Well done.
William Hanlon – William is a naturally gifted and talented karateka. There are no weak areas of his karate and he is definitely one to watch for the future. A potential little superstar well done.
Millie Davies – This girl is absolutely fantastic, she has massive potential and is always sharp and focussed. Millie has a very bright future and could give anyone a run for their money with her kumite. Well done.
John Davies – John works very hard to improve his karate, he is a good brown belt and was clearly well prepared for this grading. He got a rough ride in the kumite and showed great spirit. Well done John and keep up the hard work.
Mark Waters – Mark has made excellent progress between purple and brown belt and is one of our most enthusiastic students. He is the first to admit that he finds certain parts of karate difficult but he is always training hard, twice a work and trying to improve. Well done Mark, you’ll be relieved to know it is the same set of combinations for 2nd Kyu!

2nd Kyu Brown belt with a white stripe

Kate Hall – Kate worked so hard throughout the grading. Her katas were excellent and she never lets Sensei Tony down. Her kumite has improved and her basics are getting stronger and stronger. Well done Kate and keep it up.
Zoe Parker – Zoe has been training for a very long time and has always shown great potential. She worked very hard at the grading and showed excellent focus and great spirit. Zoe has really started to try and tidy up her karate and undo a few bad habits. Keep up the good work as you have the potential to be a great black belt.

1st Kyu Brown belt with two white stripes

Annalea Tipton – Annalea is the youngest of the Tipton family and is an outstanding karateka. Her behaviour is exemplary as is her sisters. You never have to ask Annalea to try harder or put effort in. Its always there. She is focussed, determined and has all the good qualities you need in order to achieve Black Belt. All the Tiptons have been very patient over the years and they train 4-5 times a week, for somebody so young, to show such dedication is very rare. Annalea was simply outstanding at grading and impressed everybody. Keep it up missus!
Georgia Tipton – Georgia was awarded the Student of the Grading trophy for her performance at the grading. She was simply exceptional. Like Annalea, you never have to remind her to put effort in. She does that anyway. You ask her to correct something. It’s done there and then or by the very next class. This is the kind of student Instructors dream of teaching. I cannot say enough about the progress that Georgia has made now she has started to relax and enjoy her training again. Keep up the hard work and focus and we will work together towards achieving everything you want to.
Steve Tipton – Steve is an absolutely fantastic bloke. Karate does not come easy to him at all. However, he trains hard and is very dedicated, sacrificing his free time, travelling long distances to keep his daughters motivated to fulfil both his own and their potential. Steve has made great progress between 2nd and 1st Kyu and has considerably improved his fitness. He has started to relax at last which will make everything feel easier to do. We hope to see that your confidence improves after this grading as it is the only thing left holding you back. Congratulations Steve, next stop – Black Belt.
Thomas Davies – Thomas joined us from another Shotokan Club in the Summer as a 2nd Kyu and has worked really hard in class to learn the JKS syllabus and JKS way of doing Katas. He has improved in all areas and I don’t think he realised how hard the gradings would be here at Red Tiger. However, it is so important to push students to their limit to make sure that you are not giving somebody a belt that they didn’t deserve. By the time you reach the later brown belts and certainly black belt we must push you hard to see that you have spirit and can keep going when it gets really tough. Thomas was pushed hard and had to dig really deep. He carried on when it would have been easy to quit and he must feel very proud of achieving what most could never do. Well done Thomas, you were brill.