The recent gradings, held in March, saw a change to the way they were taken.
Once those taking their first grading had completed their syllabus, all others to grade, regardless of colour of belt they were going for, took to the floor.
Grouped together by grade, the students first performed their basics after which the examining dan grades moved to another table to watch a different group perform kumite. Once this task had been completed, the examiners moved to yet another group to mark their kata. By doing it this way, the students had a better examination. More opinions by more black belts could be taken into consideration when marking the students. Also this method gives younger or lower graded black belts the chance to participate in the actual grading therefore gaining valuable experience.
A further benefit is that the student is not kept waiting for their 'turn' to grade thus eliminating going cold, building up nerves and wasting time. One comment passed was that it was nice to see how students improved from one grade to the next and how the syllabus and demands changed by grade. This was a very visible way of showing how students improve after just a few short months extra training from their previous grading. Another comment was that to see others performing at a higher level was both motivating and inspiring.
Another change to the gradings was that the cost included the belt so they were presented at the same time as the certificate. Behind the scenes there were a couple of hiccups and there will possibly be teething problems but we are confident these will be eradicated by the next gradings. The nice thing was that students, parents and students alike all had positive comments about the day. Let us hope that this continues.
Congratulations to all who successfully passed their grading. Many congratulations must go to the quarterly winners of the trophies which are awarded to the student of each club that stands out, for whatever reason, above his/her fellow students.
Ampthill: Luke Titmus Bletchley: Aidan Smith Brickhill: Christopher Roche Bushfield: John Brady Cedars: Caitlin Barrington Clapham: Kyle Harris Kempston: Kevin Quinn Newport Pagnell: Andrew Handford Newton Longville: Eliott Thomas Riseley: Samuel Prouse Wolverton: Steve Sharp
Another first for CFTS (and to the best knowledge of Sensei, unique amongst martial arts) was that at Bletchley three generations graded for different grades on the same occasion for the first time. Sacha Hind graded for 7th Kyu (yellow belt) whilst her daughter, Lia, passed blue belt (10th Kyu) and at the same time further down the line Lia’s grandmother was awarded green belt (6th Kyu). Congratulations ladies!