Early on Saturday morning of 23rd March, candidates who had been invited to grade and thus take the next step on their journey of discovery and enlightenment met at Balliol School, Kempston.
The grading panel was made up of the senior instructors of CFTS. They were Renshi Kidby (7th Dan) Shihan McClagish (6th Dan), Shihan O’Reilly (5th Dan), Senseis McMahon and Waterhouse (both 4th Dans) and assisted by Senseis Saunders and Young (both 3rd Dans). Those undertaking a grading were Steve Matheron and Angela Comb attempting Shodan along with David Francis, Roy Currie, Steve Young and Clive Betts going for Nidan.
The actual grading began just after 9am with basic combinations. By 11.45 the candidates had been taken through a gruelling process of close scrutiny of their kata, kumite and an oral test of their karate knowledge. Both physically and mentally exhausted those grading left the hall to get changed whilst the grading panel deliberated their results.
We are pleased to say that the decision in each case was unanimous and that each candidate had passed their grading.
The grading candidates were called back in to the room and were awarded their new grade with a few words of encouragement and congratulations from Renshi and the grading panel. A written report giving feedback on their performance will be given to each of them in due course.
Many congratulations to all who had performed an excellent grading to a high standard resulting in achieving their new status. This proves with diligent practice and dedicated hard work we can all achieve what we desire.
Many thanks must go to all the other black belts who kindly gave up their morning to come along to assist by pairing up with those grading and assisting in setting up and clearing away. Without your help senior gradings cannot take place. Thank you! Oss!
Simone Weber, who graded to Nidan in 2018 was also awarded her diploma.