As usual the day started with a large group of nervous teenagers – quieter than usual- traipsing into the dojo to lay out their kit for a full equipment inspection. We positively encourage maximum effort in everything our teenagers do, so that must include their appearance… clean and tidy (polished) shoes are a must. This isn’t about how smart a parent can make their child, it’s how smart they can make themselves!
Clearly there had been an internal e-mail regarding hair, nearly all the girls were turned out with matching tight braids – very neat!
Immediately after the inspection and quick photo opportunity it was change into gi’s and out onto the streets of Caston for the traditional Ishin Ryu barefoot run. Although optional for this age group, the barefoot run is a longstanding tradition at adult gradings and as usual all the kids participated. On this occasion we were lucky to have missed the downpour but that still left loads of puddles and a team of soggy kids!
The first candidates – grading to White Red- entered the dojo (for some this is their first grading at this age group or even their first trip to Honbu Dojo) after a shaky start – and a few extra burpees for being too quiet! They all settled in well and passed. WELL DONE.
Next in were candidates for Yellow Belt. There were to be no directional mistakes in this little group as they had all written Left and Right on the back of their hands (Katy King had already started this trend with a bold L and R on her feet for the barefoot run) unfortunately this is where we suffered our first fail of the day and one of the candidates was asked to leave the grading – commiserations, come back stronger and wiser next time.
The remainder of the group went on to be successful and passed their grading. Sensei Del was no doubt doubly proud of his students today as two of them in this group were his own children! Well done Shannon family.
Following Yellow was Mia South and George Goldsmith going for Orange belt – this group was originally much bigger but some choosing to wait till the next grading, Jo Kemp being on crutches and George ward at home sick in bed it soon dwindled to just the two. Not that it made any difference, they performed brilliantly and passed with flying colours.
After Orange came Linnden going for green belt, well known for being the first “Big boys” belt because of all the throws, it was doubly difficult as Linnden had to do the grading against Sebastian Weatherill (our resident Uke ragdoll) it has been a pleasure and a privilege to grade Linnden who is possibly the politest young boy I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He has steadily progressed up the grades, shedding weight and working hard to achieve his goals – today was no different, it was a further pleasure to award him his green belt.
As Linnden progressed with his grading the two senior grades of the day (Katy King and Grace Munday – going for Brown Belt) were sent out on a 3 mile run as part of their grading. Ishin Ryu specialises in making gradings tough and teenagers are treated no differently. Every belt from Brown up has a road run (some even have a cheeky swim- but today was just a run!)
Immediately on their return, they were changed and into the dojo for a basic fitness test of 40 press ups, sit ups, leg raises and burpees- all before we even start the actual technical bit!!
As expected, the girls performed excellently – it was a pleasure to call them brown belts (just after I made them do another 100 burpees!!)
And so the certificates and belts were proffered, a multitude of photographs were taken and we all trundled to the nearby pub for a well-deserved post grading dinner. – tell a bunch of teens that mobile phones are banned (fear of more burpees) for the duration of dinner and see what a bunch of little chatter boxes they are!!!
Finally, from Sensei Del and myself…. Well done to all of our teenage students (pass or fail) you continue to impress and inspire us.
Please visit our website www.ishinryu.com as much as possible as I submit reports every month about the students training during the previous month. This is a great opportunity to see if you have been mentioned or appear in a photo.
We also have the new calendar page where you can have a look at upcoming events so you can plan ahead. You can also leave feedback on each of the reports or comment on your son/daughters club and share them to your Facebook pages.
If you have any questions or you are unsure of anything, please catch me at the club where I will be happy to help!
If you are on Facebook, please can you send me and Kevin Pell a friend request so if we need to pass on information quickly I can contact you, and when the reports go up I can share it to your Facebook page so you get it straight away.