Congratulations to all the students who successfully graded to their first or next grade last Sunday.
We had to reschedule the grading due to the snow on the 18th and we are very grateful for the vast majority of students and Instructors who were able to rearrange plans and attend at short notice.
It was a fantastic turnout and Paul Sensei was quite happy with the overall standard of karate on the day.
There were a few words of ‘encouragement’ regarding spirit and Kiai’s but it wasn’t anything that we could hold technically good students back for. You will certainly know for next time to be a bit louder!
Following our recruitment drive late last year and early 2018, there was a large number of students attempting the very first grade of 9th Kyu orange belts. These students were fab and all worked really hard. There was a lot of youngsters who would only usually take part in a 1 hour class who had to complete the two hour grading, but they did brilliantly. The concentration and behaviour was excellent and we couldn’t have asked for more.
There was quite a large group of new students from the Holcombe Brook and Chesham classes and all were looking great! Well done. Our own little Dexter Wolstencroft also got his orange belt and made Mummy and Daddy W very proud of him!
There were some awesome students grading to red belt and yellow belt, it is so pleasing to see students making such great progress already. Bobby Perry from the Denton class was outstanding throughout the grading and not only received his yellow belt, he was also awarded the student of the grading trophy. Lots of Instructors commented on his effort and focus and this talented little man has everything it takes to go all the way. Well done to all of our new red and yellow belts.
The group going for green and purple belts were also really good. This is a tough point to get to and some students unfortunatley give up their journey at this point. The two sets of students we saw were absolutely fab including Stuart and Hannah Holden, Matthew Tyrell, Max McGrath and the Fairclough family. It is great to see you keep progressing and pushing on. Keep up the great work.
The group going to purple belt we also really impresssive, Venelin Dhankov once again was excellent, as were Victoria Forshaw & Jade Holden. Joe Thompson has also made loads of progress and is catching up to his big sister Megan. Charlotte Mottershead worked hard and was very impressive.
We had 5 students who successfully passed their 4th Kyu and the majority of these have been training for many years since they were very small (apart from Paul Evans). Alex Wilson, Leo Howard and Evie Gregory are all absolute superstars who always try really hard. They are progressing well and would benefit from attending a couple of times a week as they approach their brown belts. Amazing achievement for their ages though, well done. Charlotte Griffiths was as brilliant as we have come to expect. This girl has a very bright future indeed, well done and keep it up missus! Well done to Paul Evans who trains with his family Team Evans 2-3 times a week, every week. His dedication is paying off and he was well worth his 4th Kyu. Keep up the great work.
3rd Kyu Brown Belt
Harry and Adam Murphy – Both Harry and Adam have been training with their Dad Mark for many years. They continue to improve and remain very committed to their goal of Black Belt. They tried really hard throughout the grading and looked to have much more confidence than last time we saw them at grading. They have clearly been working hard with their Instructors and trying correct what they have been asked to. Hopefully, earning their 3rd Kyu will give them a much needed confidence boost to work hard towards achieving their 2nd Kyu. Both are talented and very determined and performed really well on the day, keep up the great work.
Grace and Olivia Prince – The Prince sisters are absolutely mad for karate since the day they started. Now both are training several times a week and helping out in our classes, Grace as a fantastic drill sergeant Cadet Leader and Olivia aspiring to become an Assistant Instructor. They did brilliantly on their grading day. Grace is so calm and confident and picks things up so quickly. She is a real pleasure to teach and I have 100% belief she will continue to train hard and become a brilliant Black Belt. Olivia is also extremely good at karate but doesn’t quite have the confidence to back up her unquestionable talent! I hope she can take some confidence from reaching her 3rd Kyu and start believing in herself. Once she realises she could be awesome, there will be no stopping her. Well done girls!
Helen Dolan – Fantastic performance from Helen who is another karate addict, attending several lessons a week! She is fit as a fiddle and always works really hard. Her technique has improved as she shows great attention to detail and is very determined to be the best she can be. Helen is a really promising Assistant Instructor and is a pleasure to have on the team. Very committed, very hard working and will no doubt make a fantastic Instructor and a great Black Belt in the near future. Well done.
Andy and Xander Matanle – Huge well done to both Andy and Xander who have both made excellent improvement between 3rd Kyu and 2nd Kyu. Xander has been very patient and recently has been working hard in class to get better. He was up for the challenge on the day and perfromed to the very best of his ability and you just can’t ask for more than that. He is a lovely lad and a great character to have in the class. Jo Sensei and Andy must be very proud of what he has achieved at such a young age. The boy did VERY good!
Andy is one of our best Kyu grade adults. His karate is very strong and he is a great all rounder. I especially enjoy watching him kumite as he is brave and always commits 100%! His Katas have got better and he continues to impress us at events and gradings. We are looking forward to seeing Andy make further improvement as he heads towards his Black Belt, well done and keep up the great work.
Louise Hopkinson – What a difference we have seen in Louise. She is a completely different student from when she first started. Louise has always been very shy and nervous when doing karate and had very little confidence in her ability. To see the difference in her now is very pleasing. She performed really well at grading and her fitness and stamina have improved. Even when she made a rare mistake, she stayed calm, just refocused herself and carried on. Her Katas are always really good and she worked hard in the kumite, putting together combinations and trying to use blocks and counters when needed. Her movement has improved and she was looking sharper than ever before. Great performance Louise, keep up the fab work.
Ewan McNally – What a performance from a very long serving Red Tiger. Both his Dad and Sister have been black belts for some time now but Ewan is catching up. He was seriously impressive throughout the grading. Really strong, really sharp and has made outstanding improvement. Brandon Sensei must have been very proud of him. His kumite and katas were excellent and his grading combinations were very well rehearsed. Keep on doing whatever it is you are doing, because if you do, you’ll be outstanding by the time you go for Black Belt. Very well done indeed.
Lola Girault – Lola Girault just blew everyone away. Instructors, fellow students, spectators were all incredibly impressed by one of the most talented young ladies we have ever had the pleasure to teach. I could go on and on about how amazing Lola is at karate. I am not exaggerating when I say that she gave one of the best performances I have ever seen from a student doing a 1st Kyu. In fact, Paul Sensei said, if she was doing her Shodan in that day, he’d have given it to her. High praise indeed. Her family must be so proud of everything she has achieved at karate so far and the great thing for us, is there is so much more to come. With such extraordinary talent, the sky is the limit for Lola. We are so excited to help her continue getting better and better, reach her Black Belt and win even more medals at competitions. Her commitment, enthusiasm and determination are paying off. No doubt about it, Lola is a superstar in waiting, a student for the year candidate and one of the best pocket rockets we have! Well done missus and well done Lily for having two top superstar children!
There was a huge number of parents and loved ones supporting those who went for grading. It really does create a great atmosphere and the students thrive off your positive energy. We appreciate everyone who gave up their afternoon to watch and encourage the students to be the best they can be. Apologies if you did not end up with a seat. Thank you all very much for enabling the students to do what they do best.
The photos we took at the end will be available to collect at your classes now.
Biggest thanks has to go to the following Instructors who we are very lucky to have working so hard in the area: Mike and Leesa Beckwith Sensei, Teresa Withington Sensei, Emma Ginn Sensei, Mike Baron Sensei, Brandon Lee Sensei, Paul Critchard Sensei, Dave Robertson Sensei, Nick and Steve Rose Sensei, Lee Edwards Sensei, Bernadette Burton Sensei, John Dolan Sensei, Aurelie Girault Sensei, Callum Miles Sensei, Gary Pratley Sensei, John O Donovan Sensei.
Shout out to Big Ron Matthews who was as enthusiastic and helpful as ever at grading. Your help is noticed and appreciated.
Without our amazing team of Instructors who selflessly dedicate themselves to training, motivating and inspiring others, we wouldn’t have this fantastic Club.
Thank you all, you are the best!