We held a Club grading for the students training in our North Manchester and Lancashire classes on Sunday 26th June. The grading followed another busy and successful Cadet Leader and Assistant Instructor class with plenty of exhausted students leaving as another fresh-faced batch of grading candidates arrived for a tough afternoon session. Thanks to all the Cadets, Assistants and Instructors who turned out for a great morning session and remember we have a very special session followed by Dan gradings with Alan Campbell Sensei 6th Dan and Head of JKS England at our next class on the 17th July.
The grading was another busy one with students attempting their first full grade of orange belt right up to four students taking 1st Kyu – their final grading with us before Black Belt. We are delighted to report that for the second day in a row, everyone was successful and there were lots of happy students and Instructors at the end.
A lot of recruitment has been done in classes so far this year with new Instructors beginning to open their own dojos and as a result it was excellent to see so many new faces eager to earn their first full grade of orange belt. There were some great little students and some hard working adults. The future is looking very bright indeed. It is hoped that they all enjoyed their big day and will return again soon with the same level of effort and enthusiasm to take their red belts.
We enjoyed some outstanding performances from our most experienced students. The lower grades were also very impressive with some students showing absolutely massive potential and with a dedicated attitude, we will be able to take them very far!
We must say a huge well done to our new students from Bamford Primary School in Rochdale and St Thomas’ Primary School in Leigh. New Instructors; John Dolan Sensei (Bamford Instructor) and Steve Tipton Sensei (Leigh Instructor) saw their first ever batch of students all pass their orange belts. Their standard was excellent and you are both doing a fab job. I hope that you’ll both agree that working your students hard and pushing them all seems worth it when the effort is rewarded with a first-time pass!
We were very impressed by the standard of our new red and yellow belts. The adults worked really hard and even the little ones knew their Katas and did brilliantly in the tricky combinations section. It was difficult for Paul Sensei to find anything to moan about which is always a good thing.
The green belts were also fantastic with a particularly impressive performance from Gina Farrance who proves time and time again that she is certainly one to watch for the future. The students grading to purple belts and purple & white belts also put in strong performances and we were really happy with the effort from these groups. There were outstanding performances from Baracka Kulewa, Mark Murphy and Corey Stevens who all worked their socks off from the very beginning. Excellent stuff to see.
The day really belonged to those who graded to brown belts and above as this group was excellent. We always say a few words about our most dedicated members who are now fast approaching the ultimate goal of Black Belt. Well done to you all, you should be proud of what you achieved on Sunday and take pride in the fact that you know that you earned every inch of your new belts.
3rd Kyu Brown Belt
Alex Gallacher – What a hard worker! Alex put so much effort into the grading he was almost purple throughout. He’s a tough little dude with great spirit and has improved a lot between 4th and 3rd Kyu. He is one of Mike Baron Sensei’s most dedicated students and really does love his training. If he continues to work hard and listen the way he does now, he will make a fab Black Belt in the near future.
2nd Kyu Brown Belt with a white stripe
Isabella Baron – The tiniest and most fierce member of the ultra-talented Baron Family, Izzy showed everyone on the grading day that she is not one to be messed with. We forget that she is just 7 years old as she does karate with the confidence of a much older, much more experienced Black Belt! Everything she does is with maximum effort and you just can’t fault her – she is a pocket rocket! Izzy’s katas were superb as were her combinations. Who knows how she remembers everything at her age? She is quite simply inspirational. We can’t wait to see her progress through to her Black Belt as she is destined to be the another Baron family superstar!
Zak Thomas-Blackhurst – When you think this young man can’t get any better – he goes and proves you wrong. Zak, alongside Izzy, Kyle, Arrvin and Ellis absolutely led the way at the grading. Everything was practised to perfection and on point. His combinations were arguably the best we have ever seen from a junior and he is still only 9 years old. He wins lots of medals for his Katas which were exceptional on the day but he also reminded us that he is a feisty little kumite man too. Lots of Instructors and Cadets left him having been bruised up and kicked in the head! The confidence he has gained from the tournaments he has been doing has just taken him to the next level. It is a pleasure to watch someone with such a natural gift with the work ethic to match. Well done little fella, it is safe to say that he’s doing pretty good for a dirrrrrty red!
Ellis Pindoria-Stott – Ellis was absolutely superb. Ellis, Izzy and Zak are like the three amigo’s. They train together and push each other and it is like they are having their own little competition with one another to see who can be the best. The only winner though is us. All of the people who get to watch these tiny people with exceptional skills that leave your jaw dropped! They are all extraordinarily gifted in different ways and Ellis is the great all-rounder. He is always impressive and his karate is second to none. Ellis is very committed and works hard in class and should have more self-confidence. His kicking techniques and the combinations he put together during the sparring were outstanding. We know that there is plenty of potential still left untapped and we look forward to pushing him hard and helping him achieve everything he wants to over the next few months. What a star, keep up the great work.
Ewan McNally – Many of the Instructor team were completely blown away by the transformation undergone by Ewan between 3rd Kyu and 2nd Kyu. He came to the grading with bags of confidence and great karate to match. He was determined from the outset that he was going to go home with that new belt and boy did he deserve it in the end. He has improved immeasurably and has clearly been putting a lot more time and effort into his training and listening to his Instructors more attentively. It is great to see this paying off for him as he did so well. Congratulations Ewan and keep up the great work.
Helen Finney – What a hard working and determined lady Helen Finney proved herself to be. I think Helen even surprised herself with just how much she had to give on the day and only she knows where she found the energy. Doing karate with chronic asthma is difficult enough to manage in normal classes, add to that an extra hour and half of karate, 20+ degree heat, a room full of sweaty people and the Chief Instructor shouting at everyone as he does and it’s the stuff of nightmares. Helen really had to dig deep to get the job done and she was fantastic. Her standard is high and she is a very capable and talented student. She soaks up information like a sponge and pays great attention to the minor details. She was exhausted by the kumite and was struggling at this point but her guts and determination saw her battle bravely through the rounds and put on a solid performance. Very well done indeed, hopefully you will have inspired a few of the Mums sat watching that they could do it to.
Arrvin Singh-Bhaker –
What a performance from young Arrvin. He has been training with us for the last 7 years which is a very long time indeed. Arrvin is extroadinarily talented particularly when it come to kumite and is a really lovely young man. More recently he has been very focused and working hard with the other super talented youngsters in his classes. Arrvin can stand up there with the best of them and we are proud of his standard. He was awarded Student of the Grading not just for his remarkable performance on the grading day. It was for the years and years of hard work and dedication he has shown to our Club and for his patience. Being naturally talented is not always the blessing that you’d think it is, because the expectations are so much higher. Arrvin is meeting and exceeding our expectations now and it won’t be long before this young man is another excellent Black Belt in the South Manchester area.
1st Kyu Brown Belt with two white stripes
Mark Ellicott – What a solid performance from Mark who is a very dedicated student in our Club. He trains as often as he can and his standard is high. He is strong and shows great focus. He thoroughly enjoys training in karate and should serve as an inspiration to others who think they’ve left it too late to start or think that they can’t do it. Mark works harder than most of our teenagers! He was absolutely shattered by the end of the grading and that is the way we want it. He really earned and deserved his belt and can be very proud of what he achieved on Sunday. Mark was back in the dojo the next day, eager to learn more and get working on what’s next. Well done and we look forward to seeing you go for your Black Belt soon.
Kyle Girault – Another exceptionally gifted young man, it really was the grading of the young whipper -snappers. Kyle is hands down one of the most talented young boys in the Club. He is so good at karate that he makes it look effortless. Anyone who knows how exhausting it is to do what we do will know that this is the hardest part. To perform karate effectively whilst trying to make everything look perfect without ending up plodding around, panting and generally looking like a bulldog. He always tries his best and works hard. Kyle’s potential is limitless. If you ask him to correct something, he does it instantly. His Katas are very tidy and his kumite is just superb. My favourite part of his karate is his kicks, he has the capability to kick from distance and put his foot right round the back of your head before you even notice he has moved. He does this in class and was still able to do it at grading even though he was very tired. Extraordinary stuff. Fantastic job little man. Well done.
Aurelie Girault – Without a doubt, Aurelie is one of the best adult females in the Club. There are no weak areas in her training. She is very talented , hard working and will not rest until everything is just right. She is a real perfectionist when it comes to her Katas and you can tell that she passes this great quality onto her superkids; Kyle and Lola. Aurelie has made the most improvement in her kumite. She has started to think about what techniques to throw when and how to use good movement and footwork to her advantage. She is very fit but the grading took everything she had. Like Helen, she had to resolve and dig really deep to find the energy to get the job done showing great determination and spirit. Aurelie performed the combinations with class and confidence and everything looked technically sound. She continues to make excellent progress towards her Black Belt and I’m sure she will be very impressive when the big day rolls round. Congratulations!
Megan Waters – What a courageous young lady. Megan was on a mission to earn her 1st Kyu and trained like she had a point to prove on the day, She has always been very talented but the only person holding Megan back was herself. Plagued by low confidence, she has always performed well at events but has never managed to let go and break through the ceiling of self doubt – and truly fulfill her potential, until now that is. She was brilliant from start to finish despite a little blip in the middle where she had just worked too hard. Megan enjoyed an almost faultless grading and was really brave to even carry on. She showed true spirit and the tenacity to finish what she started and this is great quality to have, this will take her far in life. Like Arrvin, Megan has had a longer journey than average but looks like she has gone full circle and really started to enjoy her karate again. Take confidence from the excellent performance. It was fantastic to see and keep it up as your next stop is Black Belt! Well done Missus.
As always we must thank the Instructors who prepared your students brilliantly for grading and also for your help, advice and hard work on the day. You keep the students going and push them to do more than they think is possible.
Thanks also to all of the Instructors who helped us sign in and get the grading underway as quickly as possible. Big thanks to our Cadets for demonstrating and being such good role models as always.
Thanks to all the supporters and parents whose contribution is vital to the success of our students. Without your constant support and encouragement, the students would not be able to achieve everything that they do and we would have no club.
Great day everyone. Well done!