Demonstration anyone!

Summer is just about here and the summer fairs are appearing.  This year my club was asked to advertise at one in Tadcaster. Our club in Tadcaster is thriving and when I was asked about a demo, I thought why not.

There are a lot of children who go to the primary school involved and I rather hoped as they would all be going anyway, they would help out.

The class is around 25 children and we got nearly half of them involved. It made me feel very proud to be in front of them as they all behaved impeccably. It was hot with the sun shining and everyone tried their best.

The only problem with the day was that I’d not grabbed a picture of them in action. I did see some of the mum’s out with their camera’s. I’m hoping that someone will let me see what they took, so I can have it for social media.

Grading time soon

Grading at Martial Arts For Life is great fun for all our students. They come and work hard, then receive their belts. The instructors love to see everyone achieve their new grades and it’s great you see them after the grading.

To be able to grade, all students have to apply in advance. It does take time to organise the belts and the certificates. To work out the grade groups and timings for the day. The instructors have to cajole some students to do it, some students let you know they will be there soon. There are those students that book as soon as they find out, and those that leave it right up to the wire.

So whichever you are, remember, the instructor tells you that you can grade. Try not to leave it to late, and don’t forget to come once booked!

Crocked again

Since December 2008, I have spent a lot of time ‘crocked’, first it was a hip thing which took nearly 9 months to clear up.  Then once it had i returned to regular training and was getting well into the forms etc for 3rd Dan, the syllabus was slightly altered and I had attended a seminar or two that had taught me what i was going to need without knowing it!

It was at one of these seminars in November 2010, that I had an accident, where a throw went wrong and I ended up with a sprained ankle and a slightly sore knee.  It turned out that when I returned to training in the following January 2011, my slightly sore knee was not up to scratch and I had ruptured my Anterior Cruciate Ligament.  

I had surgery for it at the end of May 2011 and hope that I can return to Karate training in 2012.  I managed to continue with the T’ai Chi after a 3 month break, but not the Feng Shou and am looking forward to getting back into that too.  I love doing the sword form from T’ai Chi.

It does not daunt me too much as to learning all the karate forms again, as I enjoy performing them, even ones that give me trouble.

Pil Seung!

December 2008 – 2nd Dan

My second Dan Dan grading took place in the cold weather which was a bonus.  It also happened when two other ladies were grading as well, Jo Fenwick and Cath Delaney were also grading to 1st Dan and 3rd Dan respectively.  It was great to be in such good company.  I also graded with a young friend of mine, who has helped me no end in getting me ready for the grading, she also graded to 2nd Dan with me.

I am sure one of the men felt he got off lightly but it was a good grading and we all performed as best we could.

July 2007

Unfortunately for me, both my sons decided that they wanted to give up on the karate.  I continued without them, but then spent the whole of August NOT in a training class.  I made an effort in September to return to regular training and all started well.  I am enjoying the new forms for the 2nd Dan and learning new routines and one step etc all the time.  I really enjoy it.

Grading to First Dan

We have trained very hard since our Cho Dan Bo grading, since the last grading the syllabus has changed a little, now if you are 10 and under, you do not have to learn quite so much, the reasoning for this is that some of the children found it too hard to continue and would give up completely.  The idea is that you would get to your First Dan Grading, then between that and third Dan you should be able to complete all the other requirements to make it a full Dan Grade, the time spent getting there is between 3 to 4 years so by then the children have the maturity required for it.  No one gets anything for nothing and hard work is the only way to progress.

This new syllabus means that the youngest and I attempted our Grading March and were able to pass successfully, we are both very proud of our belts and new Uniform.

Pete’s Dan Grading

Our training stepped up but the youngest and I decided that we would take longer than the usual 3 months to get to the right standard, he is struggling with it as there is so much to learn, so the eldest went for his grading as normal.  He did really well and came out with a red face and a big smile as he is now a First Dan Dan Grade in Kong Soo Do.

The new uniform looks fantastic on him!

September 2006

Classes continue and we keep on improving, there is far more to learn for Cho Dan Bo, Our arts black belt, than the others, 5 one step, you must be able to do all the 3 step, show off your skills with your Bong as well as the required forms.  As if that is not enough, you always have to prove you still know everything else you have learnt over the years.

This is being a bit of a trial for my youngest, but he has got his head round it, he always leaves a class with a smile on his face though.

June 2006 Grading again

A Hot hot day arrived in June 2006, we had done our March grading and passed our Red Belt, without too much trouble, except the Bum cha cha forms did cause my little one a problem, the moves are so precise and you are expected to do them just so, that even though he managed to get his black stripe for them, he is still struggling now with them. However, that did not stop him doing the grading in June for Red Stripe belt.

When I says it was hot, I mean it was so hot you could have fried eggs! We arrived early at the Do Jang, usually known as The Squash and Fitness Club. There were grades everywhere, getting belts, waiting to go into the grading or just standing about chatting. Its a good sight, I saw some of the little girls from a class I help my Instructor at who have now got their orange belts and very proud they were indeed.

We waited patiently, getting hotter and hotter. Then it was our turn, we entered the grading room and found Masters Pears and Fisher. Master Johnson had not come north today, seeing as Master Griffiths Johnson is nearly ready to have their latest baby. We lined up and then the grading started, the Dan grades come in too and used this as warm up for their grading. We did line work, we did our forms, I had to do Sip Soo twice as I made an error on the first time. I knew I had and was glad I was given the chance to prove I could do it. I think my bong form went awry on the last part, but I did it all. I tried really hard with my Nianchi forms and stances and hope that they were low enough, though now I will have to make sure I attain the stance drop at class or I will be in bother. We did our breaking, elbow strike and your favourite kick, I did step side kick, As neat as I could.

We all passed, hooray, I know that we had some double graders in the earlier group, which is very good. There are some kids in that group who are very good at it. I enjoyed it as usual once I got started, the only problem I had was the frozen self for the one step. I partnered with my eldest, so there he was hissing at his mother so that she did the correct thing. It was ok and we did what we could.

December 2005 – Grading

Since September and that Brown Belt that I was so proud of, We have worked extremely hard to be ready for the next belt, Brown Stripe. We have had to learn Bassai, Known as Storming the Fortress. It has about 53 or 54 moves in it, very complicated, with lots of blocks at the beginning, which when done at speed are mind boggling!

We all tried very hard to learn that form and the little one finally got it the week before grading, he knew all the other stuff ok, but the form really was difficult for him. He is now looking forward to the Nianchi, the Bum cha cha cha forms as he calls them, they have a rhythmn that makes sense to him, unlike Bassai. Therefore he is not unhappy about these next forms.

We all did our best and performed as well as we could, turning back kick is not one of my strong points but I hope I made up for it elsewhere. I can see this being a major part of our classes for a little while, as I am sure I was spotted making a mess of it. We did our break today on the boards, as lowly as we are, we had to do our turning back kick and break the board, three goes later, it broke, i was rather relieved. Then onto a hand technique, even though not a requisite for our grading we did the Elbow strike as requested. A little surprised to do but did hopefully correctly. Bong forms as required, I know all the moves so I did all the moves. Free sparring again started to take its toll, my partner always gets in close or I turn into it, it was not harmful in any way but I suppose we should be getting closer now the higher we go.

We all passed and I thoroughly enjoyed it again. We still attended our classes this afternoon, as just passing the grading does not mean you should give up your commitment. The class this afternoon was not as well attended as normal, therefore we got to practice the form for the next grade with a Dan grade, This means we got something very special. its not often that at our grade you get this in class.