Many congratulations to all who passed their Kyu examinations yesterday. The standard was very high with members putting in some great performances. As an instructor / grading examiner, there are always highs and lows, and yesterday I experienced both as always. The highs are watching our members progress and show their skills every 3 months. We have some very gifted and talented students within our group, and it makes me feel so proud of each and everyone. Unfortunately, decisions have to be made whether a student passes or fails an examination, and this is a really upsetting task for me carry out. As many will be aware, the Akashi Dojo has a great standard, and as a group, we are very respected. Those standards have to be maintained in order for our Dojo to constantly progress, and I know it can be extremely upsetting for both parents and student when a grade is not achieved. The answer is to train harder, concentrate more in class, and come back stronger!
Congratulations to Leon Riley and Hari Patel who were both presented with certificates at yesterdays gradings. Leon attended my first ever class at the Stainbeck Dojo in August 2011, where 4 beginners turned up to enroll. Leon is our longest standing member! Hari Patel joined the Dojo not long after and has trained hard from day one. I am sure all will agree that Hari is a very talented, hard working Karate-Ka. A.S.KA are proud of you both, well done!
Many congratulations to Jemima Jackson who successfully passed Shodan yesterday. Jemima put in a great performance throughout the examination and showed great technique. Congratulations from all at A.S.K.A! Thank you!
Finally, I wish to mention my Mother! Jean Riley successfully passed her 2nd Kyu (brown belt) at yesterdays grading. She has been working so hard leading up to examinations, practicing where ever she could: In the Dojo, her home, and even at work!! Nerves were certainly getting the best of her at times, so I needed some reassurance that passing her would be the correct decision for me to make, I treat her the same as any other student. I thought the best thing to do is really make her prove herself by partnering her with current British Kumite Champion, England Team member, and WUKF European bronze medalist Shelly Collinson for Kumite! Shelly is without doubt one of the best veteran fighters on the FEKO England team. She has medalled in every major competition she has entered. I can honestly say that Shelly puts the fear into most of our younger adult members. At 70 years of age, Jean got stuck in and fought so well, and thoroughly deserved to pass. Jean is an inspiration to all our members, and is a great example that you are never too old to start Karate.