The Thetford Dojo celebrated its 13th Birthday on the day of the grading. I would have never thought that thirteen years later it would still be one of my most successful dojos. I have graded many great students at this dojo, like Victoria Watson who lost her legs to meningitis. She is a very courageous person and adapts Ju Jitsu so it works for her.
The Infant Class’ grading started with a good warm up, followed by breakfalls and fitness tests. It is amazing what students as young as four can do if they are taught the right way and allowed to develop their skills according to their ability. They all did extremely well with the self-defence techniques, and sense of humour tests that I got them to do. I introduced a little bit of what I call “Ishin Ryu Insanity” and they all really tried hard to keep going.
The Junior Class has always been a very successful class, with children joining from all over Norfolk. They were put through their paces right from the start of the grading. Many of the students have been training with me since they were five years old, and it showed how much they had developed over the years.
The grading was a mixture of self-defence, groundwork, takedown and old techniques to put them under pressure. They gave it true Ishin Ryu spirit with plenty of Kiai throughout. It was great to see people looking through the windows and doors to see what was going on in the hall. Whatever I asked them to do they never gave up. The grading finished with my sense of humour test of Ishin Ryu Insanity, where they all gave it their best shot!!
It was set to be a very busy presentation evening with over 50 belts to be awarded! It is always a special time for the students, and even more so for the parents – to see their child being awarded for all their hard work over the last 3 months.
A big hit with all the students and parents is when the group photo has been taken, they get the chance to take off their old belt. When all the parents are ready with their cameras, they throw them above their heads and shout a really loud “ISHIN RYU”. It is a great moment and makes one hell of a great photo to keep!
Well done to all the students from the Thetford Dojo, you are all a credit to the dojo.