At the end of the first term of 2011, Whitby Shotokan Karate Club held its first junior and senior grading at Airy Hill School, with the students ranging from novice to senior brown belt.
The examining panel consisted of Sensei Jim White 3rd dan black belt, Sensei Chris Watmouth 2nd dan black belt, Sensei Dan Howard 1st dan black belt, Sensei Sallyann Smith 1st dan black belt and Sensei Ian Henderson 1st dan black belt.
The students were tested on their karate skills from simple punching and blocking techniques to the more technical applications of Kihon Kata (Basic Forms) and Advanced Kata and fighting techniques including (at senior level) free fighting.
Each grading at junior level wins the student a coloured tag on the white belt until three tags are achieved before they progress to the first coloured belt (orange) then two tags from orange to red belt.
The standard of the grading was superb and all students performed to the satisfaction of the examination panel, the following students gained their awards: from novice to 1st: Mon Evie Tull, Oliver Gower, Emilie Angus, Harrison Dove, Charlotte Kerr, Nathan Cummins, Thomas Cummins and Lewis Brown.
From 1st Mon to 2nd Mon: Garath Mills, Jamie Pybus, Jay Grady, Leah Brunton, Owen Mills, Sheldon Hagerty, Sheona Swales, Sarah Fraser, Kai Snow and Mae Knight.
From 3rd Mon to 4th Mon orange belt: Connor Trueman, Tom Rodwell, Evan Walker, Rosie Hutt and Billy Fewster.
From 4th Mon to 5th Mon: Alex Crank, Joe Davies, Josh Winter and Thomas Allcock.
Ben Locker moved from 5th Mon up to 6th Mon, Elliott Hewison and Reece Doudican from orange belt to red belt; Billy Fannan, Callum Marsey and Callem Walker promoted to yellow belt.
Emma Watmouth gained her green belt and Rory McFarlane his purple belt.
The senior grading followed and Simon Abbot moved up to 7th Kyu yellow belt, Andy Spillman, Mat Spillman and Patrick McCourt all gained their first purple belts.
Luke Fraser and Luke Grady both gained their 4th Kyu, purple and white belts.
Sam Locker moved up the ladder to 2nd Kyu Brown and white and Nikita Smith and Luke Richardson to 1st Kyu brown and two whites.
The senior grading’s are very strenuous the students were on the floor for over 1 hour going through rigorous tests of stamina and skills.
For 2nd and 1st Kyu grades each student had to perform advanced kata and combinations culminating in eight minutes of free fighting with four different opponents.
At the end of the grading, all the instructors congratulated the students and commented on the high standard of the club.
The club is registered with the Independent Federation Of Martial Arts.
All instructors are qualified black belt Senseis and hold City and Guilds Diplomas for coaching adults and children including health and safety and child protection.
The club trains twice weekly at Airy Hill School courtesy of Headmaster Jim Lidgley, Mondays and Thursday, 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 contact Mike Howard on (01947) 604861,
Jim White on 820378 or Chris Watmough 821579.