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BLACK BELT FOR ALISTAIR
18 July 2019 5:14 pm
Alistair with his grading examiners, Sensei Sherry and Sensei Poynton
The overwhelming sense of joy was palpable at the purpose-built dojo in Bath University’s sports training village on Saturday, as Alistair Hanlon from Bristol Karate Academy passed his black belt.
Alistair lined up with Karate exponents from across the country as they were put through their paces by two of England’s most senior karate exponents – Sensei Bob Poynton (8th Dan) and the Karate Union of Great Britain’s chief instructor, Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan).
Alistair started Karate in 2014 in Nailsea and Backwell with his father, who is now just one belt behind him. Whilst showing great promise throughout his time training it’s been in the last year that he’s really begun to shine. While his bronze medal performance at last year’s KUGB Southern Region Championships was a great achievement, Saturday’s performance in his grading examination certainly topped that.
Alistair’s preparedness was evident in his performance, as he looked focused when demonstrating his fundamentals and confident when performing his kata (set sequence of movements). By the time it came to his sparring, he looked totally in control. He delivered well-timed punches when his opponent was pushing forward and showed excellent use of side stepping and traversing footwork when presented with attacking opportunities.
Club instructor, Tim Griffiths, kept a close eye on Alistair in preparation for his black belt exam: “Alistair took his training really seriously, using the club’s tried and tested black belt preparation plan to structure the run up to his grading. The most critical element however was that he brought his own determination and eye for detail to the table. Alistair took the feedback given to him in class and then worked to make improvements between training sessions.
"He sets a great example for the next black belt prospects at the Academy. We’re tremendously proud of him and his achievement and look forward to seeing his progress as he continues his Karate journey.”
Congratulations, Alistair, on an excellent grading and a fantastic achievement.