On December 17th 2016, five of our students took the challenge of a black belt grading. Between them they had very nearly 40 years of training, and they brought all that effort and experience to their grading.
So Roffey Karate now has five new Dan grades, Julie Elliott, Victoria Strelciunaite, Tone Vallestad, Rhiannon Fitzgerald and Thomas Claridge. They undertook over three hours of physical testing – covering the basics, blocks, Kata, Self Defence, Kumite and the dreaded Bunkai (explanation and interpretation of a chosen Kata).
They should all be very proud of their achievement as it will never leave them, it is now a part of their character and life that no one can ever take away. I hope they inspire you all to continue your own journey to your black belt, although ask any one of the senior black belts and they will tell you that this is when the journey really begins. If you get the opportunity, have a chat to them about it, I’m sure they would love to tell you about it.
The week before the Dan grading, it was the turn of our other students to take their next – or in several cases their first – belt. We had over 30 students successfully gain their next/first belt and you all should be as proud as any of the five who became black belts. You cannot become a black belt without taking all the steps in between. All of the grading instructors were very impressed with the spirit shown by you all, and the standard you reached. In several cases students gained a full belt when expecting a half belt.
Well done to you all. You are a credit to yourselves and our club!