There were 50 Students in attendance for the HKK Christmas Kata course from all over the UK and Ireland who descended on Reading on 9th December 2023.
A really good training session followed by a tough but excellent grading.
11 year old Myla Kumedzina and 65 year old William Anderson passing their 1st Dan, and Sami Omar and Jodie Edinburgh treated us all to a top grading and both passed their 2nd Dan.
Upgrades for John Spurgeon and Richard Bartley to 5th Dan and the biggest cheer of the day for Steve Gibbs receiving his 7th Dan. We will celebrate their achievements in a separate post coming later this week.
As for Whitley Karate Club it was a great day as Sam Starey and Ben Dale both passed their 1st Dan. This time last year they attempted the same grade but were unsuccessful. We needed to put a plan together to ensure they were in the best possible position to grade again, knowing it would take 12 months of hard work. In conjunction with the other Whitley and Kimesanchin instructors and chatting to the boys and their parents we all worked very hard to iron out some of the technical issues and to prepare them as thoroughly as we could for the big day. Sam and Ben listened to us and never shirked, it would have been easy for them to throw in the towel, but they worked hard and the evidence was there for everyone to see and they both thoroughly deserved their black belts.
We are all proud of the achievements and pleased for both the boys. Thanks along the way goes to instructors past and present and the undying support of family guiding and encouraging them. No Karate journey is ever easy (if it was everyone would do it) and obstacles have to be overcome but with courage, technical ability and determination Ben and Sam have done us all proud.
Congrats to you both!
-- Steve Bell, HKK Chief Instructor