Grading 1st July 2018

IMG 9855
owen douglas

The Club looks to be in good conditions and faring well against the economic downturn.  There was a healthy turnout for the grading and we can see the green shoots of recovery in the higher numbers of new students attending this year.

            Adults and children were put through their paces at Cults on Sunday during the gruelling 3 hours grading. Many students have improved dramatically and have earned their next belts.  Some of the children are showing great promise and are responding well to the discipline.  Others may find it challenging but this is normal, our society does not teach discipline but here, through traditional Karate-do, we do.  It is not our wish to leave any student behind but it’s much easier to quit than it is to succeed.   

stuart and aidenn Odell

Special congratulations to those who now proudly wear their Black Belt.

The coveted black belt takes years to earn.  When most students start out their initial goal may have been to achieve a black belt.  This is great, but it is not where the secret treasure of karate resides.   Karate is a journey that starts when you enter the dojo for the first time.

This journey never ends, and it may surprise many to find that a black belt is still not the pinnacle of your achievement.  At black belt we are really only arriving at the base camp of our expedition to a higher plain.  It can be sad to see some good students decide to quit training after getting their black belt and move on to the next item on their ‘goal list’.   It’s akin to serving an apprenticeship and never working, throwing away your tools and heading off before the job.   Or training to be a racing car driver, getting all suited up and sitting in the car at the start line, the crowd cheering as you are revving up the Ferrari V8 engine and then stunning onlookers as you simply get out the car and wander off into the wilderness.  Leaving the potential spiritual victory to waste.   

            After the initial glow of being a black belt has faded you may be unsure of yourself.  Wondering why you are still making mistakes.  Why you got beat by a brown belt in sparring.  ‘This was not meant to happen” you think... “I’m supposed to be a black belt master” …  Perhaps you have been focusing on the wrong things during your training.

A belt is after all, just a belt.   Your focus should be on yourself. During your training in the dojo and in everyday life.  You need to develop an awareness of what you are doing.

Perhaps you have been missing something. I think many students come to realise this at some point.

If we look at the translation from Japanese of Sho-Dan we can learn something very simple. 

‘Sho’ means first. ‘Dan’ means level.    Shodan means literally first level.


Anyone training properly with our club will quickly notice that their Karate training will give them an ‘edge’ over people who are not accustomed to discipline and self-awareness.

The more you practice, the better you get and the better your life will be.  For you and the people around you. Imagine yourself after another year of hard training and self-improvement.  How would you feel? What would you be doing? How would you look?  Then take the time to sit and imagine yourself in 5 years.  Then 10 years…

And now ask yourself, why would you throw this away?  


National Karate Federation Copyright