On the 11th July 2014 students from the Hopton School undertook their class gradings. As school finishes at 3.00pm the students have enough time to change before starting classes at 3.15pm. The children all lined up at the edge of the mat waiting to be bowed on. The class came onto the mat and immediately lined up. Their training oath was spoken in Japanese and English. I asked questions about the club and names of personal items that they are wearing. “What is your uniform called?” “What is your belt called?” etc Sometimes I would request the answer in Japanese and sometimes I would ask them what a certain Japanese word meant.
We swiftly moved onto warm-up, getting their limbs moving whilst running around the matted area, time for stretching and into breakfalls. Everyone lined up at the edge of the mat – starting with the senior Junior first and finished with the infants the same format for Juniors was followed. Forward rolls were performed two at a time and this was repeated a few times before moving onto their side, front and rear breakfalls.
I was happy with their progress so a after a quick sip of water we moved onto their fitness tests. Spread out around the mat they performed four exercise, with the colour of their belt determining how much of each exercise to do. As everyone started looking red faced it was time to check out throwing ability. Taking it in turns each student demonstrated a throw before changing partners to repeat the process.
As everyone was on good form we then moved onto block from a punch, throw partner to the floor securely before holding them down by one of three pinning techniques they have been practicing: Scarf Hold, Shoulder Hold or Chest Hold. This this process was repeated many times and everyone worked extremely hard. However there was more to come as they would have to do it all over again but this time mixed up with standing and kneeling grappling and lots more fitness. I am happy to say that everyone passed and we all took a welcome break for a drink before sitting down on the mat for congratulations.
The following week was games week and presentations, as the school had a disco on the Friday this was rescheduled to Wednesday. This made everyone happy including myself, as I wanted to see my student’s happy faces when they receiving their new belts.
At the beginning of the lesson we played a little game of dodge ball in a very small space using a soft ball to lessen the impact. Everyone had lots of fun before parents arrived. With all parents in attendance, the children put on a display to demonstrate what they have been learning and what they have been tested on. Following resounding applause the students lined up to receive their new belts and certificates…
Well done to all of you! I hope you all have a lovely summer break and look forward to seeing you when you return in September…