This past weekend students from Cornwall MayoShinDo Karate Clubs Sennen and Marazion attended a grading at Sennen Community Centre. This year students faced a longer more intense grading than usual. The students had to impress a grading panel consisting of Cornwall Area Coach and 7th Dan Black Belt Clive Double, Sennen Instructor and 4th Dan Black Belt Luke Jackson, and Marazion Instructor and 4th Dan Black Belt Denzil Searle.
Prior to the grading students were split into 3 groups with each group being assigned a member of the grading panel who was delegated to be their main examiner for the grading. The grading started at 9am with a gentle loosen up followed by some paired up warm up exercises, and finally some stretching to prepare the students for the impending examination.
Once the warm up was over students were asked to perform various techniques beginning with basic punching and blocking to all targets. After a 5 or so minutes students were asked to pair up with one punching towards their opponent whilst the other performed blocks showing the examiners their techniques indeed work and were being done correctly. Once this had been done students were asked to step across the hall whilst their assigned examiner held a focus pad for them to hit allowing the instructor to see how effective their techniques were.
Then it was back to lines to focus on footwork with students being asked to demonstrate all the various stances they know for their grade with any hand and feet combination they had previously learnt. The students were then asked to step across the hall using given methods of stepping, this included side stepping, cross stepping, and cross leg stepping to name a few. Students were being tested to see how fluid their movement was and that they used correct stances.
Next it was on to miscellaneous techniques, where students returned to lines and demonstrated all the various types of chops, back fists, side fists, hooks, uppercuts they knew.
Then it was on to kicking, beginning with a kicking sequence which at higher grade can consist of over 15 different kicks containing basic front kicks to roundhouse kicks, turning side kicks and jumping turning cresent kicks all done in a set order increasing in difficulty the higher the grade. Students again were then asked to step across the hall doing various kicking combinations relative to their grade. After that the instructors armed them selves with a kicking shield and had the students take it in turn to strike the pad with range of kicks given to them by the instructor.
That was the majority of the basics covered, next up was katas, a series of set routines allowing students to demonstrate their techniques/stepping and timing in a controlled fashion. Each kata increases in difficulty so any student who did not know a kata were asked to do some break falls / rolls and judo until the higher grades had completed their set.
With time starting to run out the next thing on the agenda was line ups where each group was given a task to perform, the lower grade students were given the instruction to attack with a single punch to head and any hand counter, the middle ranged grades were given the instruction to attack any target with any hand attack and any hand or foot counter, and the higher grades were given free rein to use hands and feet for their attacks and counters to all targets. Each student had a turn at the head of the line allowing them to be the aggressor and defender.
The last part of the grading was paired up free practice or sparring, lower grades were asked to demonstrate focus reaction which is all about quickening reflexes, the middle grades were asked given the task of hands only sparring starting off one attack and one defend, finishing with both attacking and defending. Higher grades could use hands and feet again starting with one attacking and one defending and ending with both attacking and defending.
To finish up the higher grades still in their pairs were armed with pads one held the pads giving the other random targets to hit, starting off with hands only and then kicks only. Whilst this was going on the other students returned to lines and did some combinations.
Students then returned to lines and bowed out, to enjoy refreshments in the kitchen, the grading was over… well for most that is. Unbeknown to one student there was still more to come, our highest graded junior Ruby who was going for her brown belt today was informed that she had a written paper to take. Unlike the black belt written exams this was shorter and consisted of multiple choice questions.
Whilst Ruby was doing this other higher graded students had the opportunity to try the written exam to give them a feel of what is to come, whilst the grading panel sat down and discussed how each student had done. The overall feeling amounts the panel was all the students had done very well, keeping their focus and concentrations levels throughout the morning and performing their techniques to a good standard. Once the written exams were returned students were recalled to lines to discover their fait. The students were told how please we were with their attitude and performance today and that everyone had received something for their efforts.
Aneurin Baker: Aneurin was attending his first grading today having only recently turned 6 has 18 hours of training under his belt and had a good grading. Aneurin was today awarded is first yellow tag.
George Rimmer: George who in the past gives lots of effort but runs out of steam today performed really well and kept going for the entire grading. George is another young member of our club had 59 hours at white belt and today earned his yellow belt.
Mawgan Elford: Mawgan has been ever present member of Sennen Karate club for almost a couple of years now, performed well today and had 21 hours at Yellow Belt was today awarded his first Orange tag.
Tegen Elford: Tegen like Mawgan has been ever present at Sennen Karate Club had a solid grading today, had previously done 21 hours at Yellow Belt was today awarded her first Orange tag.
Jack Chappell: Over the past 4 or 5 months Jack has improved a lot and this is mainly down to his increased focus and concentration in class. Jack has shown a determination and a willingness to learn and improve his techniques whilst showing a greater understanding of his role and whats expected of him. Jack who often trains for two hours a week did well today and previously had 24 hours at Yellow belt, today Jack was awarded his first Orange tag.
Lydia Chappell: Lydia has been a solid student for a while now, often trains for two hours a week have another solid performance today, having graded to Yellow belt last time out and having 28 hours at yellow belt was today awarded her first orange tag.
Jago Pierre: Jago is another keen student who often does two hours a week, can sometimes find his concentration wondering off but when he is fully focused can produce some really nice stuff. Jago again got his Yellow Belt last time out and has 32 hours of training since was today awarded his second orange tag.
Jasmine Rimmer: Jasmine as i’ve often said is a natural, and picks things up very easily. Jasmine often trains for 3 or 4 hours a week and previously had 58 hours at Yellow Belt, today Jasmine was awarded her Orange Belt.
Ben Mason: Ben has been training just over a year now, has always shown a keen interest and a willingness to learn. Ben performed well today and is always improving, having 56 hours under his belt Ben was today awarded his Orange Belt.
Francisco Strous: Francisco is another student who is always good in class, performing to the best of his ability. Francisco performed well today and having 50 hours training at Yellow Belt, was today awarded his Orange Belt.
Angela Strous: Angela like her brother Francisco is often focused in class and easy to teach due to her understanding of what is asked of her and showing a willingness to learn. Angela was good again today and had 47 hours training at Yellow Belt was, today awarded her Orange Belt.
Jimmy Green: Jimmy is another natural and when he puts his mind to something he can be very good. Jimmy often trains for two hours a week and had a solid showing today. Jimmy who got his orange belt last time out had also done 37 hours training since then was today awarded two orange tags.
Finn Edwards: Finn has been one of our standout students over the past 12 months or so, turning up to every lesson possible and training regularly for 4 hours a week. Finn missed the last grading and had a massive 138 hours training at Yellow belt. After another good performance today Finn was awarded his Green Belt.
Tommy Barnicoat: Tommy is continually showing signs of improving, having trained for a total of 92 hours at Orange Belt prior to the grading and having put in a fine display today Tommy was awarded his Green Belt.
Jonathan Thomas: Jonathan or JT as he is better known is often busy saving lives as his full time job as a Paramedic prevents him from training as often as he would like. Having missed out on a grade last time out due to lack of hours this time round JT had the hours and produced a good display to impress the instructors enough to award him his Blue Belt.
Rosco Reid: Rosco who was the only student from Marazion Karate Club attending today impressed the instructors with his overall techniques and focus. Roscoe improvements were clear to see today and although he was a little short on hours his effort and ability today meant he fully deserved his first brown tag.
Ruby Wilson: Ruby who continues to set the bar with her attitude and determination in class like Finn is one of our standout students over the past 12 months. Often training for 5 hours a week Ruby continues to improve at a fast pace. Since the last grading Ruby has been asked to take a greater role within the club often helping teach some of the lower grades and taking the occasional warm up. Ruby previously had 99 hours at Blue Belt impressed today and passed her written exam , was today awarded her Brown Belt.
A big well done to everyone today you all put in a great amount of effort and maintained good technique throughout. The grading panel were very impressed with your attitude. Keep it up. Remember the higher graded you get the greater the number of hours you need to grade to the next belt.