Karate kids make the grade

HOLLIES Shotokan Karate Club's young students are receiving the ultimate seal of approval as they make their way up the grading ladder.

HOLLIES Shotokan Karate Club's young students are receiving the ultimate seal of approval as they make their way up the grading ladder.

All clubs which operate under the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) are required to bring in senior examiners for their pre-black belt gradings.

And the Ipswich-based Hollies, which is just one of over 400 clubs in the organisation, has been honoured by the presence of the KUGB's chief instructor, 8th Dan Sensei Andy Sherry, at their recent examinations.

“There are 10 leading instructors at the KUGB and we have been lucky enough to have the top man come here,” said assistant Hollies instructor Heston Woodward. “His presence is especially good for our youngsters.”

Under the KUGB there are nine grades below black belt. These are known as Kyu grades with 9th Kyu (orange belt) being the lowest and 1st Kyu (brown belt with two white stripes) the highest.

Under the grading system students have to display the full range of basic moves, including kicks, punches and blocks, a comprehensive kata routine (set series of movements), followed by a display of kumite (fighting).

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And although they were under the watchful eye of Sherry - 19 members of the Hollies passed their gradings.

Woodward said: “Karate is not merely a fighting technique. It is a martial art which aims toward the perfection of character through hard training of the mind and body in addition to the learning of techniques.

“The club stress the importance of true karate spirit to students and to this end emphasis is always placed on the development of the disciplines of character, sincerity, effort, etiquette and self control.

“Good karate can only be attained through hard work.”

Shotokan karate is an amalgamation of many different fighting styles from throughout south-east Asia and was founded by Master Gichin Funakoshi.

Hollies Shotokan Karate Club was originally founded at the Hollies Community Sports Centre in Bucklesham in 1987. The club later moved to Copleston School before finally settling on its current base of Whitehouse Junior School on Marlow Road.

Chief instructors Mick De'ath and Patsy Porter have both been presented with long service awards by the late Sensei Charles Naylor in recent years.

The club currently trains on Tuesday and Wednesday evening between 6.30pm and 8.00pm. For more information on the club please visit: www.hollieskarate.co.uk.

New grades awarded by Sensei Andy Sherry

Neave Brosnan 9th Kyu

Thomas Chinery Temp 6th Kyu

Rachael Collins 4th Kyu

Jack Curl 7th Kyu

Millie Daniels 9th Kyu

Oliver Footer Temp 7th Kyu

Geno Footer Temp 6th Kyu

Nicholas Footer 6th Kyu

Poppy Footer Temp 7th Kyu

Donna Footer 6th Kyu

Cameron Forrest 1st Kyu

Isaac Gilbert 8th Kyu

Bradley Hardman 9th Kyu

Owen Hardman 9th Kyu

Cara Hunt 8th Kyu

Daniel Moore 4th Kyu

Adam Noble 9th Kyu

Tara Steele 8th Kyu

Kyle Whiting 1st Kyu

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