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Historic Cornwall Karate Grading Ends 30 Year Hiatus

November 18, 2023
Cornwall Karate Grading
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This past weekend saw a historic karate grading take place at the birth place of one of our clubs. Over 30 years ago Sennen Karate Club was formed and ran weekly classes from the Village Hall in Sennen, The venue for todays karate grading. Having ran classes here for several years we eventually had to find a new home due to the availability of the hall not suiting our needs. Today marked the first time in over 30 years since the club last trained here and it was a real sense of nostalgia for myself who started my martial arts training in this venue all those years ago.

The grading was held on Saturday 18th November 2023 with students from both Sennen and Marazion karate clubs in attendance. As the students began to arrive it became clear that space was going to be tight and some of the plans may need to change to ensure the grading when ahead safely.

Students had been warned not to expect anything from todays grading as ultimately it tends to lead to disappointment if they don’t achieve what they thought they would or wanted to, but to give it their best effort and let the rest take care of itself.

As always the grading was organised in a way where students could be assessed across a variety of activities. Firstly students were asked to perform given techniques in lines, this would increase in difficulty based on their grade. Line work gives the examiners a chance to look at the students techniques, as well as their knowledge of that technique, the ability to hit the desired target, their level of focus and the effort they were putting in.

Next up we students were asked to pair up, and we’re tasked with dealing with an attack in two different ways, one avoiding the attack through good quick movement, and the other through having to perform a correct block, each time countering with a suitable well placed strike. This exercise gave the examiners a chance to see how well the students worked together, their control of their attacks, their awareness of what’s happening and how well they dealt with an actual attack.

We then looked at some pad work, with students each taking it in turns to strike a pad held by the examiners to see how effective their strikes are. This included punching, elbows, various kicks, and other hand striking.

As the grading was coming to a close there was one final surprise for the students, they were all asked to take a seat at one end of the hall and two by two they were asked to step on to the mat and demonstrate their sparring ability, something that quite a few of them had not done before due to their grade, so it was interesting to see how students approached it. Needless to say we had a mix of good controlled sparring and some erratic uncontrolled sparring, though all students did really well and took on the challenge without a second thought.

There was no kata today as that had been looked at and assessed in class the pervious night as I knew time would be tight today.

After a throughly impressive performance from all students during the grading it was time to discuss the results.

Grading Results

The following students were awarded new belts
  • Ayla Payne – Green Belt
  • Senara Popp – Orange Belt + 1 Tag
  • Darwin Heartford – Orange Belt
The following students were awarded tags towards their next belt
  • Sky Cox – 2x Yellow Tags
  • Velvet Weller – 3x Yellow Tags
  • Daisy Clemens-Wells – 3x Yellow Tags
  • Tumaini Jelbert – 1x Orange Tag
  • Yogi Jelbert – 1x Orange Tag
  • Zola Walton – 2x Orange Tags
  • Alice Lidiard – 1x Green Tag
  • James Lidiard – 2x Green Tags
  • Sasha Vavrecka – 2x Green Tags
  • Ethan Callaghan – 1x Blue Tag
  • Sam Newbury – 2x Brown Tags
  • Thomas Chisholm – 2x Green Tags
  • Sam Beckwith – 1x Orange Tag
  • Luke Scott – 1x Orange Tag
  • Charlie Mayall – 1x Green Tag

As stated before all students performed really well today, unfortunately this is not always the case during class and that reflected on some of the results awarded today. Hopefully those who didn’t pass today will make an effort to impress in class each and every week going forward and prove to us examiners that they deserve to grade. It’s really down to all students to put in the effort in class, we can only guide them and pass on our knowledge, but the self discipline and effort comes from them. Remember the higher up in the grading ladder you reach the longer it takes to get to the next belt.

Big thanks to Denzil who helped assess the students, to the parents who got the students here on time and to the students whom without none of this would be possible .

Look forward to seeing you all at class soon!!!!