Standards high at Shotokan club gradings

Whitby Shotokan Karate Club students at their Easter grading
Whitby Shotokan Karate Club students at their Easter grading

Whitby Shotokan Karate Club held its first grading for 2013 at Airy Hill School with the students ranging from novice to green belt.

The examining panel consisted of seven senior black belt instructors, Senseis Mike Howard 4th dan, Jim White 3rd dan, Chris Watmouth 3rd dan, Daniel Howard 2nd dan, Sallyann Smith 2nd dan Luke Richardson 1st dan and Ian Henderson 1st dan.

The students had to perform all the basic karate skills from simple punching and blocking techniques to the more technical applications of Kihon Kata (basic forms) Heian Kata (more advanced forms) and advanced fighting techniques.

The pre-grading training session startedwith warm up exercises and basic skill drills conducted by Senseis Henderson and Richardson, assisted by brown belt members Calam Walker, Billy Fannan and Elliott Hewison.

The grading finished with presentations. 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 more tags to red belt.

The next stage of progress will take students on to yellow belt followed by green belt then there are two purple belts followed by three brown belts which lead on to the first black belt (dan ) or master grade.

The standard of the grading’s again in the Whitby club were magnificent and all students performed to the satisfaction of the panel.

The following students gained their awards: from novice to 1st Mon (white belt + 1 yellow tag) Adam Hodgson, Ben McCarthy, Brook Gibbon, Ellie Gibbon, Joseph Mann, Josh Evans, Kiaren Dormer, and Skylar Tyreman.

This first grading especially for the young is always adaunting experience but each novice performed exceptionally well in front of the senior black belt instructors.

From 1st Mon to 2nd Mon (White Belt ) Jordan Peart and Rosa Lee Swales; from 3rd Mon (White Belt) to 4th Mon (Orange Belt) Aidan Marsay, Hannah Hogarth, Katie Hogarth, Sonny McDermott, and Jake Wadley.

This award of the first coloured belt takes the student into the intermediate or coloured belt class.

From 4th Mon (orange belt) to 5th Mon (orange belt) Alfie Barber, Ebony Allison, Joshua Tinkler, and Beth Mortimer; from 5th Mon (orange belt) to 6th Mon (orange belt) Charlotte Kerr, Daisy Stokoe, Eve Mortimer, George Peirson, Joseph Peirson, Kai Snow, Lewis Brown and Oliver Gower. Evie Hartley Tull and Harry Foster were promoted to red belt.

Evan Walker and Mai Knight moved up from red to yellow belt. The final three students were promoted to the first purple belt - this is normally recognised as the halfway mark to black belt.

The club Chief Instructor Sensei Howard congratulated all the junior students whose ages range from five years upward. He said students can go anywhere in the world to train in Shotokan karate because the Japanese language is the international language of karate.

He called for a round of applause from their parents and said the standard of the students reflected the standard of the instructors.

He congratulated Senseis White, Howard, Henderson and Richardson for the high standard of karate demonstrated by all the graded students from both the white and coloured belt classes.

The 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 twice weekly at Airy Hill Primary School Mondays and Thursday.

Anyone interested in learning the martial skills of shotokan karate or self defence can contact Mike Howard on (01947) 604861, Jim White 820378 or email