At our closed dojo in Arlecdon on Tuesday 1st December, seven of our members challenged advanced ranks, with two of these looking to gain the rank of Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt).
Whether successful or unsuccessful, to attempt a senior grading is always commendable as these challenges are as you would expect, much more demanding than the beginner and intermediate events. They not only test the candidates physical abilities, but after around three hours of intense effort under the watchful eyes of the grading panel, their attitude, character and spirit is also under scrutiny.
The standard at our dojo is high and our expectations are always increasing, so to gain a brown or indeed a black belt rank at our dojo is something very special. These ranks are considered very personal to each individual, with holistic requirements that help mould their ongoing karate journey through many months of hard work and commitment leading up to the event. Simply put, there are no short cuts here!
Therefore, huge congratulations are in order for everyone who stood in front of the grading panel yesterday to give it their all. I'm sure that the spectators and fellow Karate-Ka present were not only privileged to see such a great show of skill, but also inspired by what was a shining display of energy and spirit.
Some words from Sensei...