The Saturday Thetford Dojo started back in 2004 due to the high demand of children wanting to train in our style of Ju Jitsu. It is the most successful dojo that I have ever started, and have had to start a third class for our juniors and teenagers.
I really look forward to grading the students at this dojo for so many reasons… The infants arrived nice and early, and very keen to get started. They are always in a happy mood, which may be down to the fact that it is the weekend and no school!
The first week of grading was the technical part with techniques, breakfalls and groundwork. As usual it all went to plan. The second week was cardio, throws and competition training. Throughout the grading, they were kept under pressure with not knowing what they were going to do next. Even the younger ones did really well and the senior students did exceptionally well. It was also a warm morning which made it harder, but they didn’t lose focus on what they had to achieve. Once I knew that they had done enough it was time to give them the good news that they had all passed their next grade. There was a great cheer for the students and their fan clubs (parents).
It was time for the juniors to step up and show me how much they wanted their next grade. I knew from the start that it was going to be an awesome grading from all of them. It doesn’t matter what I ask them to do – they simply get on with it. There is a lot of talent in the Saturday class and they all work so well together. Many of them have been training with me for a long time. It is scary to think that I have taught them since the age of four and some are now taller than me!
The highlight of all the gradings is the presentation day, as it is a massive turn out of parents at the Saturday classes. Many of the parents ask to have a photo taken of me with their child, so they can add it to their collection since the day they started. It always finishes with a group photo for each class, and the traditional throwing of their old belts in the air.
Congratulations to everyone for yet another brilliant grading. You are all a credit to Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu and to your dojo!