Latest updates from across the academy

By Admin
01 November 2021 12:11 pm

A huge congratulations to all those that graded on Sunday, as we welcomed the Head of JKS England, Alan Campbell Sensei to teach for Bristol Karate Academy for the first time.

Prior to the grading exams, Alan Sensei taught two seminars and demonstrated his exceptional eye for detail with body mechanics. This came into sharp focus as he demonstrated his mawashi geri kicks and a drill that involved the floor-based mawashi geri from the kata ‘Unsu’.  From his kumite drills through to the exploration of kata ‘Jion’, there was plenty to do, plenty to think about and plenty to learn.

We’re delighted to announce that 22 members passed their kyu gradings, with a high standard on display right across the board.  Well done to everyone that took part – you did yourselves proud.

With black belt assessments usually taking place at national seminars, this was the first time that Bristol Karate Academy had hosted a dan grading. It was a pleasure to have members from a number of different clubs taking part. Congratulations to everyone that passed, but none more so than the six Bristol Karate Academy members that graded!

First up was Rob Lee, who first started his training over a decade ago. Having passed his 1st kyu in 2015 the ‘road to shodan’ has been a long one. Therefore it was an extra special moment to see him getting everything right on the day and finally shedding a rather well-worn brown belt for the coveted black variety.

Our three 2nd Dan (nidan) candidates had a marathon of a grading. First up, each needed to complete a ‘crossover’ grading, to ratify their existing grade with our new governing body, the Japan Karate Shoto Federation. It was then time to complete the nidan syllabus. Everyone was demonstrably up for the challenge.

Caroline Walton – who had joined the Academy in 2019, after a break from karate – put in a ferocious performance, with focussed, explosive kata and aggressive and dominant kumite. It may well have been a couple of decades since Caroline last stood on the line ready to grade, but it certainly didn’t look like it as she did exactly what was required of her to achieve 2nd Dan.

Brothers Josh and Liam Mashford had upped their game in the run-up to the grading, attending JKS squad training and various other extra sessions – and it certainly showed. With their ‘kihon’ (basic techniques) on point and their kumite firing on all cylinders, both proved to Alan Sensei that they were worth a dan grade promotion.

It’s good for everyone at the Academy to feel the pressure of a grading examination and instructors Dan Salter and Tim Griffiths were no exception to this. Both were eager to get their current grades ratified by the Japan Karate Shoto Federation, which they duly did. 

Alan Campbell Sensei remarked, “Excellent”, before confirming Dan Sensei’s sandan (3rd Dan) grade. Tim Sensei’s kata is usually his area of expertise but a firm roundhouse kick to the body of his opponent was the technique that drew the remarks from Alan Sensei, as he confirmed Tim Sensei’s godan (5th Dan) status, 7 and a half years after it was first awarded.

A huge thank you to everyone that supported the event, including members from our own Academy, Somerset Ryu Karate, Milton Keynes Academy and Plymouth SKC. As always, thanks to our many helpers. Without you our events would not run as smoothly as they do. And finally, a big thank you to Alan Sensei for taking the time out of his schedule to visit us. We look forward to welcoming him back in the future.