Rochdale Grading: 13-3-2016

Our Rochdale grading immediately followed another busy Cadet Leader and Assistant Instructor class on Sunday 13th March. There was a lot of students attempting their first or next grades under the watchful eye of Paul Wolstencroft Sensei and his Instructor team.

There were many nervous faces as we lined up to begin the grading with 14 students attempting their 3rd Kyu, 2nd Kyu or 1st Kyu. Thankfully, as the grading progressed the nerves settled and students really began to show off their skills.

A handful of students earned their first full grade of orange belt. Congratulations to you all for taking your first and hardest step on the journey to Black Belt. There were some fantastic students going for red, yellow and green belts with stand out performances from Claire Pullan, Helen Dolan and Gina Farrance. Everyone worked hard and deserved their new belts.

The next group of students grading to green, purple and purple & white belts were also very impressive. They all tried their very best throughout and there were some fantastic youngsters especially Betty Eccles, Alex Gallacher, Jayden Popovski and Amy O’ Donovan. They adults did brilliantly too, including Zlatko Popovski and John O’ Donovan who looked like he loved every minute of his ‘kumite’ round with Paul Wolstencroft Sensei. It was certainly very entertaining for the rest of us! I think John was a little tired and will know to save a bit more energy for next time!

The students attempting Brown Belt and above worked tirelessly from start to finish. Their karate was excellent, with the overall opinion among the Instructor team being that there had been a hell of a lot of much-needed improvement made by most of the individuals over the last few months.

Congratulations to following students who join our 3rd Kyu Brown Belt Club and above:

John Riley – An exceptional performance from an exceptionally talented and lovely boy. John is polite, kind and hard working and has no idea just how good he actually is. He is equally talented in all areas of his karate and really has something very special about him. Students like John do not come along very often, I’m certain he is a pleasure teach and is progressing brilliantly under Mike Baron Sensei. Well done young man and keep it up.

Olivia Fagan – Olivia is a very dedicated student who tries very hard in classes, at Cadet Class and at gradings. She sets a great example to others and is a really lovely young lady. She did very well at her grading and showed that she has very good katas. Congratulations Olivia and keep up the great work.

Jacob Darkey – What a little star! Jacob is great little character to have in class. A real cheeky chappy with some fierce karate. His kicks and kumite in particular are excellent and he is improving in every area. Jacob has the potential to go all the way if he continues to listen and work hard for Mike Baron Sensei. Well done young man!

Ethan Kirk – The Kirk brothers have showed some amazing potential from the very start. Both brothers are hard working and always polite. A credit to their parents and Mike Baron Sensei. Ethan has made excellent progress between 4th Kyu and 3rd Kyu and is really beginning to tighten everything up. He was strong and brave in the kumite and showed fantastic combinations and katas. Well done Ethan and carry on doing exactly what you are doing.

Jacob Kirk – Jacob is another little star, always trying his very best, you will never see him being lazy. What he might lack in technique, he more than makes up for by giving you 100% effort at every class, grading or event. Both Jacob and Ethan have everything it takes to make it all the way to Black Belt and supportive parents to help them every step of the way. Well done!

Caitlan Moss – Caitlan is a super talented young lady. She is eye-wateringly flexible and her karate is progressing really well every time we see her. As she gets older she is becoming much more focused and really concentrates on perfecting every little detail which is what every Instructor wants! Caitlan is one of Emma Ginn Sensei’s highest graded and most committed students since she began teaching a couple of years ago and must be delighted with Caitlans development. Well done missus and  keep up the good work.


2nd Kyu 

Isabel Hair – What a wonderful young lady. Isabel has bags of enthusiasm and always tries hard in class. She is a talented and reliable cadet leader who is kind and patient with the little ones. She has made massive improvement between 3rd Kyu and 2nd Kyu and must continue to listen to her Instructors and correct what she needs to. She has great potential and a fantastic attitude. Well done missus and keep it up.

Leah Duckworth – Another lovely little girl who has made tremendous progress. Leah tries hard in class and her behavior is always exemplary. Don’t let the angelic little face fool you though, with a Black Belt for a big brother she certainly knows how to take care of herself. With the added pressure of big shoes to fill, her performance was fantastic at the grading and she showed that she has everything it takes to follow in Benjamins footsteps. Well done missus.

Holly Dale – A wonderful young lady with a whole lot of talent. Holly was at times just outstanding at the grading. She has a natural talent that has been evident since she very first started. Her ability to remember everything and immediately correct whatever you ask, is rare for somebody so young. She is really starting to fulfill her potential and we are so excited by her talent as we know there is lots more to come! Well done to everyone who has taught this well-rounded little future superstar.


1st Kyu

Chris Eccles – A fantastic performance for one of the most improved students we have seen in a long time. Chris always trains hard and does the best he can. He has worked a lot to tidy his katas and refine his techniques. His jiyu ippon was much improved and his Instructors are doing a great job of helping him. Next stop is Black Belt for one of our longest serving members. Well done on your hard earned and well deserved 1st Kyu.

Archie Eccles – Archie started his karate journey way back in 2008 at our Ladybridge class. Since then he has remained a dedicated member of our Club and always tries his best. His last experience at grading left him a little disappointed and since then his karate has gone from strength to strength. He seems more determined than ever to earn his Black Belt and had improved immeasurably. His attitude and behaviour are always spot on and we are so pleased he has earned his 1st Kyu. Well deserved and it won’t be long before he is going for that Black Belt! Well done.

Millie Davies – Millie is without doubt one of our top young females in the whole Club. She has everything, beautiful Kata, strong sparring, excellent stances, dedication and a great attitude. She really enjoys her training and is incredibly talented. She was superb on the grading day and we know that there is so much more potential still to be unlocked. Fantastic grading from a wonderful young lady who will make an outstanding Black Belt when her time comes. Well done.

Marcus Chorlton – Marcus is a brilliant little students who is a pleasure to teach. What he lacks in tidyness, he certainly makes up for by trying so hard in every class. Everything is 100%. He is an awesome Cadet Leader and works really hard for Nichola Rose Sensei and Steven Rose Sensei. He is a credit to them and certainly did not let them down on his grading day. He has made significant improvement and will make an excellent little Black belt in the near future. Well done little man!

Nicole Chadwick – Our Student of the Grading, Nicole gave us the very best perfomance that she is capable of. What a turnaround! From a shy, quiet teenager with no confidence whatsoever to what we saw on Sunday, it was incredible. She was confident, worked tirelessly throughout and was 100% determined to show the tremendous progress she has made in the last 12 months. This was her big chance to shine and she grabbed it with both hands. She has gone from showing tons of potential without any belief to being a student who hits their potential and exceeds all expectations. She is a fantastic role model at Little Lever and the students all love her and back her all the way. We are excited to see her go for Black Belt soon and be the first Black Belt to come out of the area since Callum Miles Sensei. They are big shoes to fill but if Nicole continues to work with us, she can do it!

Molly Austin-Hogsden – Molly turned up at grading to attempt her 2nd Kyu. She has been a part of our club for about two years now after joining from another Club in Spain. Since making the switch, you could describe her as an Instructors dream. First of all she is very dedicated training 3-4 times a week every week. Her parents are 100% behind her and travel miles and miles so that she can learn and work with the very best students in the Club. Her attitude is everything you could ask for, she manages to strike the perfect balance between being both confident and humble. She is polite, friendly and hard working. Molly is inspirational to others and is a very special person indeed. She was so impressive on the grading day, she was double graded from 3rd Kyu to 1st Kyu. This has never happened in our Club before.A unique achievement for a unique student and I haven’t even talked about her karate yet!

This girl has the full package. You can have all the natural talent in the World, but without an attitude like Molly’s, it can be sadly wasted. She has phenomenal talent, exceptional Katas, impressive and at times, dominant Kumite. Molly gave every ounce of effort she had and was astonished to have been double graded. The only person who didn’t believe she was capable of getting a 1st Kyu was her. Mike Baron Sensei is doing an amazing job developing Molly and was delighted to have helped her achieve this. I know she looks up to other top females in the Club like her good friend; the outstanding Grace Baron and she is keeping all on our tippy-toes. Molly needs understand that she is a role model too and start believing in herself! We cannot wait to see you do your Shodan! Well done.

Huge thank you to all the Instructors who helped out, sparred and taught sections on the day. Without you, we would not be able to enjoy such fantastic days as a Club and the students wouldn’t be able to achieve these grades. Well done to everybody who graded and thanks to all the parents and supporters. Your support is essential in their karate journey and without you motivating them week in week out and helping them get through their gradings, they wouldn’t be able to achieve all the great things that they do!