We would like to say a big thank you to all the outstanding students who attended the 2017 Student of the Year Awards. Each and every one of you has committed to their training this year and gone over and above what is expected of the average student.
Over one hundred and thirty students in total were nominated by the Instructor team and trained at a fantastic seminar put on by Paul Wolstencroft Sensei 5th Dan, Mike Beckwith Sensei 4th Dan and our guest visitor Johann Santos (Current JKS European and English Kata Champion) 2nd Dan.
They were each awarded a large trophy by their Class Instructor to recognise their hard work and dedication. You are the people who make our Club what it is, highly successful and one of the largest and fastest growing Clubs in the UK and a highly valued member of the number 1 Shotokan Organisation in the World the JKS.
We hope that you all enjoyed the seminar on the day and learned a lot. All three Instructor delivered really energetic and well planned lessons, fantastic job! Well done. Huge thanks must also go to Johnderick Santos (Johann’s Dad) who gave his time up to come and help out and train on the day. It was a pleasure to host you both.
Big thanks to Michelle Baron who once again was kind enough to snap away all afternoon and has really managed to capture what a fantastic occasion it was. You are a star and we are all lucky to have you. Mike Sensei has speedily processed the images and they are now available for you to view qand download free of charge. Thank you both so much, your work is amazing and we know how hard you both work without adding this extra job in! It is much appreciated by us, the students and the parents. Great job.
Student of the Year Images:
As well as some fantastic training sessions we also had the pleasure of watching three of last years winners do Kata demonstrations. Ben Duckworth, Jake Gould and Zak Thomas-Blackhurst all delivered outstanding performances and reminded us exactly why Paul Sensei chose them last year. All three have continued to work hard, lead by example and develop into even stronger karateka. Well done.
Ben Duckworth was up first and did an excellent Kata Junro Yondan, a notoriously difficult Kata to learn and perform under pressure. Ben executed his Kata brilliantly, it was sharp and dynamic in all the right places, but he also managed to make it flow exactly the way a Junro Kata should. Hats off to Ben who took on a hard Kata and made it look easy. Congratulations young man, as inspiring, brave and classy as usual. Keep up the great work Ben, you are a real star.
Jake Gould was up next and performed Kata Kanku Dai. A very physically demanding Kata indeed and another brave selection. Jake was very calm and composed throughout his performance and presented the Kata exceptionally well. It was strong, well timed and flowed beautifully. Jake is a relatively new Black Belt and you could not tell that he has literally just learned the Kata over the last few weeks. He performed it like a true professional. Well done.
Zak Thomas-Blackhurst was last up and our little man took on the biggest Kata of all – Kata Unsu. It was an absolutely outstanding performance by anyone’s standards and when you think about the fact this this awesome young man is only just turned 11 years old, you are somehow even more impressed. To show composure like that at such a young age and to perform on his own in front of over 200 people, we know this lad is somebody very special indeed. Congratulations Zak, all those hours of practise and all the nagging from Master Jackson and I paid off brilliantly, you nailed it. Well done.
Paul Sensei also asked Johann Santos if he would mind doing a Kata demonstration of one of the Katas he uses in his competitive career. He was very kind to agree to this at such short notice and performed the Kata ‘Gankaku’ for us. His performance was absolutely inspirational and I am so glad that the children of our Club got to witness first hand how good you can become, if you work as hard as Johann has since starting karate at a very young age. Johann proved exactly why we had asked him come down and teach our students, his karate has to been seen to be believed. This lad is pure quality and has ‘Champion’ written all over him. Remember his name, as I’m sure you will be watching him put up medal after medal and championship after championship for many years to come. Johnderick must be very proud. He is also proof of the the quality there is in the JKS, training under the brilliant Steve Carless Sensei at the Walsall Dojo.
We closed the seminar with a presentation of medals to our fantastic Instructor team. Without our Instructors, we would have no Club, we wouldn’t be able to put these great events on and the karate that is being passed down to the students wouldn’t be half as good. They are a group of selfless and committed Individuals who work so hard together as a team to learn, inspire and bring through the next generation of brilliant students. They train hard every single week, sweat buckets and get shouted at by Paul Sensei just like their students do. They are students of the sport just like you and their hunger to learn and desire to continue to progress is the reason why we as a Club are so successful. Paul Sensei and I have been able to train Japan and the World Headquarters 5 times this year between us. Our Instructors cover our classes and enable us to continue to develop and learn and keep moving this Club in the right direction. We truly are blessed to have you working alongside us, above all you are all really lovely people. Thank you all so much for everything you do.
The Instructors also bought us a surprise thank you glass trophy each. We were very pleased and grateful to receive your gifts but there really was no need! What a thoughtful surprise, they are now displayed proudly in our office. Thank you all very much.
All of our Instructors then awarded their nominees with Student of the Year trophies before Paul Sensei gave out the top four prizes.
Paul Sensei chose Connor Cherry, Abby Fielding, Ellis Pindoria-Stott and Kevin Longthorne.
I will put a write up about all four of these very deserving winners on the Student of the Year page tomorrow. Massive congratulations to you all, I bet you can’t believe it.
Well done to following students who were awarded trophies by their Instructors
|Amy O’ Donovan|
|Lilly O’ Donovan|