Alex’s black belt takes Whitby club’s total to 15

Alex Inglis (fourth left) is the latest Whitby Shotokan Karate Club black belt
Alex Inglis (fourth left) is the latest Whitby Shotokan Karate Club black belt

Whitby’s Shotokan Karate Club added another black belt to its higher grades, giving it a total of 15.

Sensei Alex Inglis joined the ranks with a fantastic grading night conducted by Sensei George Coates 7th Dan, chief instructor to the Independent Federation of Martial Arts.

The grading panel consisting of three black belt instructors, Sensei Coates 7th Dan, Sensei Mike Howard 5th Dan and Sensei Jim White 3rd Dan.

Alex joined the Whitby club in 2005 at the tender age of seven, he slowly climbed through the ranks learning and practising the skills of the ancient art and his dedication, perseverance and hunger to learn eventually paid off when he gained the coveted black belt.

The grading started when Alex was told to teach the full middle class, which consisted of intermediate students ranging from orange belt to purple.

One of the compulsory qualifications of a black belt Karateka is the ability to teach the martial art.

Next Alex was tested on his advanced black belt katas.

For the black belt 1st Dan Grade, the practitioner must know at least five advanced katas and all five heian katas.

For black belt, the candidate must also be able to hold his own against other black belt holders and after at least 10 heavy fights, Alex was awarded his first black belt.

Sensei Coates commented about the high standard of the Whitby club. He said the standard of karate and discipline was second to none and called for a round of applause for the club’s instructors.

Sensei Coates congratulated Alex and said it was a very hard, well-earned grading

As is the tradition of Shotokan Karate, a newly-promoted black belt has his brown belt removed by the last graded black belt.

Sensei Luke Richardson 2nd Dan was selected to do this and Sensei Jim White 3rd Dan tied the new black belt onto Sensei Alex Inglis.

Whitby Shotokan Karate Club is registered with the Independent Federation Of Martial Arts.

All instructors are qualified black belt Senseis and hold City & Guilds Diplomas for coaching adults and children, including Health and Safety and Child Protection.

The club trains on Mondays and Thursdays weekly at Airy Hill Primary School courtesy of Headmaster Jim Lidgley. Novices 5.30pm to 6.30pm; intermediate 6.30pm to 7.30pm and advanced 7.30pm to 9pm.

Anyone interested in learning the martial skills of Shotokan Karate or self defence can contact Mike Howard on (01947) 604861 or Jim White (01947) 820378.