Student of The Year

Student of the Year 2016 Course and Results


Our last major event of the year and what a way to close out 2016. This is always one of our favourite events of the year, it is the Instructors chance to reward our most loyal and dedicated students with trophies and a thoroughly enjoyable Seminar. Michelle Baron and Mike Baron Sensei were kind enough to spend the day taking photographs and videos and have processed them already. Thank you both very much. They are free to download.

Please click on the link below and type in the password: soty2016 (all lowercase, no spaces)

I have to say this must have been one of the best ones yet. The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing with excitement and anticipation and Sensei Paul didn’t disappoint with an awesome seminar filled with exercises he has been working on in the JKS Hombu Dojo in Japan. Ahhhh! the advantages of having a Chief Instructor who isn’t lazy and trains hard all the time are awesome!

The Kihon section was hard but very enjoyable, we did various versions of killer squats (or tried to), kicks, stances, partner exercises with the lower grades being given the chance to pick a Black Belt to work with.

This was then followed up with a chance to watch last years winners perform 4 outstanding demonstrations as they bow out as current Student of the Year.

Molly Austin-Hogsden performed a very strong and well timed Kata “Empi”. Beautiful performance from this exceptional young Black Belt – who just gets better and better every lesson. A superb example to our young ladies and easy to see why she is JKS England National Kata Champion for her age group.

Rob Head Sensei then followed up with a fantastically well executed “Gankaku”. This is a very technically difficult and challenging Kata to perform but Rob kept his cool, showing good timing, strength and power. He took something very hard and made it look easy, the sign of a great Black Belt. Well done, now you can relax!

Matthew Affleck is another JKS National Kata Champion and absolutely smashed his performance of the Kata “Jion”. It was perfectly timed, relaxed yet, super-sharp. It was dynamic and lightning fast in the places that it needed to be. He has been working really hard on it paying attention to every last detail and the results were phenomenal, well done.

We saved our JKS World Champion till last, Grace Baron rounded off the demonstration section with the Kata that won her first ever Gold medal at the JKS Worlds, the Asai-Ryu Kata “Kakuyoku Shodan”. She was as brilliant as always. Calm, composed and absolutely World-Class. You can see the practise that has gone in over the last twelve months, performing the Kata under enormous pressure like this was no problem whatsoever for Grace. What a role model, what a karateka. She really is undeniably, in a league of her own.

These four have never stopped training, never stopped setting an example and are never satisfied with where they are up to. They clearly love doing karate and will continue to improve like our other former student of the year winners who, to this day are still as good as ever. Trying hard, pushing boundaries, never taking that foot off the gas, making marginal gains. Lori-Ann Moran, Christopher Jones, Louis Johnson, Joe Ratcliffe, Mike Baron Sensei, Hannah Cain, Sam Jackson, Callum Miles Sensei, Joni longden Sensei (who still trains 3 times a week in Japan) the list goes on and on.

With everyone wowed by these fab performances, we then split into groups giving the students the chance to learn the Katas they had just seen.

The 4th Kyu’s and below learned Kata Empi with Mike Beckwith Sensei and Molly Austin-Hogsden, the brown belts, 2nd Kyu’s and 1st Kyu’s learned Kata Gankaku with  Rachael Sensei and  Rob Sensei and the Black Belts and Instructors learned Kata Sochin which has been covered a lot whilst  Paul Sensei has been at the Hombu in Japan.

We then finished the seminar with Kumite drills in lines, then with partners. The students practised punching drills, kicking drills, sweeps and takedowns and looked like they had a great time – especially Master Chris Jones who was used for all the demo’s and loved it!

Paul Sensei and Rachael Sensei then wanted to reward the Instructors for their invaluable contribution throughout the year with a special medal. Without our team of talented and committed Instructors, there would be no classes and no Club. Without the Instructors continuously turning up to train and teach each week with positive energy, enthusiasm and passion for karate, we wouldn’t be able to hold events like this or have such a great Club. The Students and Instructors are the ones who make everything work and we are grateful for every last one of you.

When we talk about commitment to their students and dedication to the Club Here are a few examples of what I am talking about – John Dolan Sensei spent the morning having surgery and his thumb re-attached after an accident. He turned up at the seminar to give out his students trophies. Nichola Rose Sensei has been badly injured in a road traffic collision last weekend, she turned up for her students and to wish everyone well. Nicola Holland Sensei who has been battling serious injury and illness turned up to support her students even though she clearly poorly and is unable to drive. It is this level of dedication that makes us realise just how much our Instructors love what they do and genuinely love and care for the people they teach. Rest up guys and get well soon. Thank you all.

Four other Assistants were awarded with trophies and have agreed to take on classes and become Club Instructors in 2017. Jo Sysum, Gary Pratley, Bernadette Burton and Jade Rigby have all been teaching and covering over the last few months and doing a brilliant job. Congratulations to all four for being appointed to Full Instructor, welcome to the team and we look forward to working together in 2017. Our team of Instructors will hit almost 30 with these 4 new additions.

So please see the list below of all the students who were selected by their Instructors to receive an award of excellence and become Student of the Year 2016 for their dojo. We hope you enjoyed the seminar as much as we did and you will be proud of your hard earned and well deserved trophy. CONGRATULATIONS!

Aaron Barnes
Abby Fielding
Adam Bennett
Adam Karabedian
Adam Paksy
Alex Gallacher
Alex Mellor Brooks
Alex Pylypczuk
Amelia Hancock
Amelia Karabedian
Amy O’Donohan
Andy Matanle
Ava Nicholson
Baraka Kulewa
Ben Brookes
Ben Duckworth
Ben Kirkman
Bernie Burton

Betty Eccles
Brendan Conyard
Bruce Smith
Bruce Terry
Charlotte Griffiths
Chris Jones
Christopher Lysaght
Ciaran Abbott
Connor Cherry
Corey Stevens
Courteney Alty
Daniel Connor
Daniel Mayor
Danny silverwood
Darcey Mason
Dave Riley
Dave Smith
Demi McDonagh
Edward Norman
Ella Rylance
Ellen Conyard

Ellie Laytham
Ellie Mae Morgan
Ellis Pindoria-Stott
Emily Connor
Finlay Dewhurst
Frankie Doran
Freddie Gilbert
Gary Pratley
Georgie Dyal
Gina Farrance
Giuseppe Pezzino
Grace Baron
Grace Prince
Grant Pritchard
Greg Burton
Hannah Whalley
Helen Dolan
Holly Quinn
Isabella Baron
Isabella Mullen-Shiels
Isabelle Wilkie

Isobel Cunliffe
Jack Doolan
Jackie Hall

Jade Rigby
Jaime Pratley
Jake Gould
James Moseley
James Sherlock
Jamie Cudlip
Jo Sysum
John O’Donovan
John Riley
Jonathan Curtis

Jonty Johnson
Joshua Walton
Karina Fairfield
Katie Greenlees
Kevin Longthorne
Kylah Lawson
Kyle Girault
Lee Murphy
Lewis Thomas

Lilly O’Donovan
Lily Whalley
Lola Girault
Lori-Ann Moran
Louis Johnson
Louis Standring
Lucas Goodier
Lucas Walker
Lucy Davies
Luke Hopkinson
Maleyka Agjef
Marcus Chorlton
Mario Pezzino
Matthew Affleck
Matthew McCabe
Max Morgan

Mia Dickerson
Michelle Walker
Millie Davies
Millie McWilliams

Megan Waters
Molly Austin Hogsden
Nicole Chadwick

Nicci Adams

Nils Van Dongen
Oliver Murray
Oliver Smith
Olivia Fagan

Olivia Levell
Olivia Prince
Oscar Thompson
Phill Burton
Poppy Evans
Ryan Potts
Sam Jackson
Saskia Gould
Scarlett Norman
Scott Whalley
Sharon Sharrocks
Sonny Millington
Thirsa Horrocks
Venelin Dzhankov
Will Jones
Yaseeri Alsawaf
Zak Gould
Zak Thomas Blackhurst
Zoe Chaffer


We found out at the end of the Seminar who had been selected for the four large trophies.

Congratulations to the following students who were chosen by Paul Wolstencroft Sensei:

  • Zak Thomas Blackhurst
  • Benjamin Duckworth
  • Jake Gould
  • Danny Silverwood

All four boys are thoroughly deserving in their own right and an exceptional example to all others of how a karateka should train, commit and behave. Amazing boys who have made their parents extremely very proud.


What a way to end 2016. Looking forward to even more achievements, growth, great karate and more fun with the Red Tiger Karate family in 2017!