Four Samurai Karate School, Wisbech, lads travelled to Gloucester for the WTKO Christmas course on Saturday.
They had a four-hour training session and then had a 90 minute grading session for their Shodan Black belts.
Shodan is the first level of Black Belt and is a bit like passing your driving test. You have a excellent set of basic techniques an understanding of and ability to perform karate principals of movement and application. There are 10 levels of Black Belt which should represent a life of training as a genuine 10th Dan should be at least 70 years old.
The grading panel was Sensei Richard Amos 7th dan the head of WTKO International, Sensei Scott Langley 6th dan Head of WTKO GB, and Sensei Angelo Sanna 6th dan WTKO chief Referee. Both Richard and Scott are graduates of the renowned Japanese Karate Association instructors course. It is a brutal three years course and only five western men have completed the course in its history. Angelo also has 35 years experience with the JKA prior to joining the WTKO. It was a high level panel indeed.
This grade was for a full Shodan not a junior level and we have achieved this with 18 months of hard work. All four boys aged 13 have been training for between 7 and 8 years.
They were tested on their basic techniques and combinations, Kata, and Kumite. There were required to demonstrate ability and understanding in karate principals of movement, balance, power generation, and control.
Three were successful in passing; a fourth narrowly missed out and will retest in 2017.
Aaron Goult, Euan Shaw, and Harry Murrell were successful in passing and received great praise from Richard sensei.
Sensei Steve King said: “These young men now have opened the door to the big Karate world and have big futures ahead of them. We are so proud of what they have achieved and it has been a great mark for our school within the WTKO.”
Samurai have their own school championships this Saturday at the Hudson LC and are planning for 2017 with lost of exciting opportunities already lined up, including a great offer for new students in the new year.