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BRANDON & JOEL PASS GRADINGS
15 April 2022 8:54 am
Joel and Brandon pictured with the Head of JKS England, Alan Campbell Sensei.
Academy members Brandon Bennett and Joel Olivier both achieved their JKS black belts in Nottingham on Sunday.
The grading took place after a 2-hour seminar where the head of JKS England, Alan Campbell (7th Dan JKS), explored open handed striking with the 100 karateka in attendance.
With this training under their belts, it was time for Brandon and Joel to line up to attempt their grading. The panel consisted of Alan Sensei and three other JKS 6th Dan examiners: Matt Price Sensei, Steve Carless Sensei and Geoff Dixon Sensei. Brandon and Joel were told the incredible news that they'd passed at the end of the challenging exam.
Brandon first joined the Academy's Warriors programme under Dan Salter Sensei in 2016. Since that time he's been putting in the hard yards alongside his brother, Quaid, who passed his own black belt grading last year. Brandon's 1st kyu grading was at an outdoor grading at the end of 2022 during the COVID pandemic. During his grading on Sunday he was able to demonstrate a huge improvement in his kumite, something that naturally we weren't able to practice to the same extent until the summer of last year. We're delighted to see Brandon's hard work paying off.
Joel joined the Academy in 2020 and completed just three classes before the UK went into lockdown due to COVID. Despite the challenges that this presented, Joel took every opportunity to train, whether online or in our outdoor small group classes before we were able to return to regular training back at the dojo. Joel was already a black belt with another group when he joined us and he came to us with excellent spirit! Since joining the Academy he's made great strides in improving the quality of technique too, which meant that he was able to cope with the rigours of a JKS dan grading. Joel is now focussed on improving further and attempting his JKS nidan as soon as he's ready. We're proud of Joel's efforts to refine his karate and are confident that with more work he'll reach his aim of 2nd Dan in the future.
Congratulations from everyone at the Academy for your hard-earned grades!