At the end of April we took 29 competitors, 6 officials, judges or referees and 6 coaches and 2 helpers/score keepers to the British Open in London Docklands. The British Open is one of the largest competitions in the calendar with a high standard of competitors and many world level Referees officiating. This years event was no different and there were about 600 competitors and 6 Tatamis in use all day..
We had many new comers to our competition squad taking part in their first competition, so it was fair to say that there lots of nerves involved from both them and also from their parents. They had all worked hard to be ready for the competition.
We started with the kata events and these were keenly contested in all age groups. The events started with the youngest age categories and proceeded from there. We saw some polished performances in all the categories and some some good competitors that we need to match up to.
Congratulations to Mandi Miles who won a Silver and Mandi and Gavin Downey who won a Bronze Medal in Kata.
The Kumite events were also busy categories. We saw some great work from the squad, Sophie, Ruby and Orla won our first medal in the Girls <8 Team Kumite. Solomon had a good day winning Silver in his individual event, he was withdrawn on medical advice part way through the final bout. He also won a Bronze in the Team event with Jack, Zane and Enzo. Other medals were won by Emma, Leyna and Claudia.
Congratulations Team Shin Gi Tai for a large proportion of the team this was their first time competing and they did themselves proud. In all it was a really positive competition. Nice to see international teams attending from Poland, Egypt, Slovakia, Algeria, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales and several top association teams from England.
The weekend of 25th March was the first of our quarterly gradings for 2017.
During the course of the weekend and the following week, Senior Examiners Bryan Andrews 6th Dan and Lindsey Andrews 4th Dan examined the following sessions
- 4 – 6 years old
- 6 – 9 years old
- 10 – 14 years old
- Adults Karate
- Ladies Chinese Kickboxing
- Combat Ju Jitsu
Congratulations to everyone who passed and earned their new belts. We never give belts away, they are always deserved. People often have to battle nerves, fear, sickness and themselves to pass. Gradings are a test and as such one has to earn the right to pass.
For all age groups, except 4 – 6 year old, all gradings are carried out at a special grading class held on a weekend outside the normal class times. Members are grouped according to age and ability to test with their peers. A beginners grading for 6 – 9 year olds would typically consist of a lesson to recap the key points to be covered during the grading itself, following on from that the children then are asked to come up in small groups to perform certain moves, drills or forms. As the children get more experienced and older, the lesson content decreases and they eventually end up testing for the whole two hours with increased expectations for demonstrating their skills and abilities. These gradings are very much a technical test of skills with pass or fail criteria and a minimum requirement for number of lessons and weeks between gradings.