Hall packed with karate hopefuls

Whitby Shotokan Karate Club students at the end-of-year grading
Whitby Shotokan Karate Club students at the end-of-year grading
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THE end of year Whitby Shotokan Karate Club gradings were held at Airy Hill Primary School.

The hall was packed with enthusiastic young hopefuls who settled into their last 60-minute training session of 2011.

The novices were lined up in front of the black belt grading panel consisting of Sensei Mike Howard 4th dan, Sensei Jim White 3rd dan, Sensei Chris Watmouth 2nd dan, Sensei Sallyann Smith 1st Dan and Sensei Dan Howard 1st dan.

The novices’ grading list consisting of children aged from five upwards was divided into teams of six and each student had to perform the basic stepping punch moving forward three times. They then had to demonstrate the four basic blocks moving forward three times (rising block, middle outer block, middle inner block and low level downward block.

Next was the first Mon grading’ (Mon is a Japanese word , literal translation means boy).

Students had to perform the same basic punches and block as the novices but also demonstrate the basic kicks, front snap kick and side snap kick.

The next to grade was the 2nd Mon, again all basic blocks and lunge punch going forward three times and performing thrust kicks forward and sideways.

The Mon grading system was introduced to Shotokan Karate by the late karate master and world karate champion of the Japan karate Association, Keinosuke Enoeda Sensei 9th Dan. This system allows for children to train and grade in-between coloured belt promotions and its success is tried and tested by most successful karate associations.

The orange belt grading was next and six in a line performed all their former gradings and demonstrated their ability in (Gohon Kumite) five step sparing. At this stage they have mastered the Shotokan commands in Japanese,

They then performed reverse punches forward and backwards, they had to perform (sanbon rentzuki) three rapid punches - first to the head and next two to the mid-level from both sides moving forward and backwards.

Finally each student had to perform the first basic kata of Shotokan (Kihon) meaning basic, this kata has 22 movements which must be memorised and performed with true karate spirit to the satisfaction of the examining panel.

The red, yellow green belts had to perform all the above gradings plus some basic free fighting and their own individual level katas.

Finally, three brown belts lined up to take their 2nd Kyu exams (brown Belt to brown and white belt)

This grading takes about 60 to 90 minutes where all punching and blocking techniques must be performed individually and then against equal opponents, followed by advanced blocks and strikes against opponents, then free fighting for three minutes against different opponents.

They then had to demonstrate all the basic and advanced kicking techniques forward, sideways and reverse, they were given instructions in Japanese which they had to know and understand and had to perform all the basic katas from white to brown belt then the advanced brown belt katas Bassai Dai (to penetrate a fortress) and Tekki Shodan (Iron Horse grade one)

The successful candidates were: novices to first yellow tag. Alex Nichols, Alfie Barber, Amy Ward, Daniel White, George Moon, Ebony Allison, Jacob Coverdale, Janis Draper, Joshua Davies Joshua Tinkler, Owen Ellwood, Poppy Savage, Sam Reynolds, Sonny McDermott, Sonny Winspear, Cory Allison, and Reece Hall; 1st Tag to second tag, Beth Mortimer, Daisy Stokoe, Eve Mortimer, George Peirson and Joseph Peirson; 2nd tag to third tag, Charlott Kerr, Evie Hartley Tull, Harrison Dove, Harry Foster, Jamie Pybus, Kai Snow, Lewis Brown and Oliver Gower.

Gareth Mills, Owen Mills, Sheldon Hegerty, Mae Knight and Jay Grady were promoted to orange belt; Billy Fewster, Connor Trueman, Evan Walker, Rosie Hutt and Tom Rodwell received their 3rd yellow tag; Ben Locker, Alex Crank, Joe Davies, and Josh Winter were promoted to red belt; Reece Doudican received his second black tag; Elliott Hewison was promoted to green belt; Emma Watmouth, Billy Fannan, Callem Marsey, Callum Walker and Simon Abbott were promoted to the first purple belt; Leo Goodwill, Joe Goodwill and Robbie Goodwill move up in the world to 2nd Kyu brown belt.

A club spokesman said: “What a fantastic night was had by all, the standard of the club is of the highest in the country.

“The discipline, courtesy and respect is second to none and everyone who graded is a credit to the club and its instructors.

“We hope to keep up the standard for 2012 and the future.”

For further information call Jim White on (01947) 820378, or Mike Howard 604861. Or email james@jwhite16.freeserve.co.uk

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