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Congratulations all who graded on Saturday!

Chris graded around 65 kids up to 10yrs on Saturday and about 10 adults.   We’ve been running two classes for kids 6-10yrs for almost a year so Chris decided it was time to get both ’sets’ of kids together so 1. they could meet and 2. he could compare across grades.   It was really cool to see that many kids get together at one time! 

He split the group by grade, from white belt up to the highest which was 7th kyu.   They performed basics and a few exercises together but performed their kicks against a pad and kata in batches.  It’s a real challenge teaching the kids and Chris spends a lot of time on material he’s developed over the years for the purpose of developing the kid’s fundamental karate skills.  His philosophy, which aligns with a lot of research into kids in sport, is spend more time developing the young one’s balance, coordination and enjoyment for example and save much of the ‘adult’ syllabus for when the kids are older. 

So, after all the fun games and exercises during term, the theory was there would be a clear progression of ability from white belt to blue belt on grading day, regardless of age.  We were very happy with the way the day went and hope it was fairly obvious, even to those who have never trained in karate, that the kids are developing clear skills… even if some of them are oblivious! 

We’re very grateful to all the older students who helped on the day.  Personally we get a charge seeing the adults and colts helping out when some of them started with us when they were the same size as the kid’s who were grading!!!  It was fun to see the adults step in and spar with the kids as part of their warm up for their own grading!

Chris took the opportunity to double grade a handful of kids to ’slot them in’ to the appropriate grade for their ability and all the rest of the kids successfully progressed to their next grade.  It will be another 5 months before they grade again and I’m personally fascinated to think our son might become as capable as the blue belts were on Saturday in that short span of time!                

Most of the kids were supported by family on Saturday and it was a unique opportunity for some parents to see what we do.  We are always really interested to recieve feedback so if you have any comments or questions about the grading (or anything else) please fill in the survey form:  http://www.mtvicdojo.org.nz/tell-us-what-you-think/ 

I also really enjoyed the adult grading.  I was lucky EJ fell asleep on me so I was trapped and ‘allowed’ to watch the whole thing for a change!  We’re both just really enjoying the high calibre and great attitude of everyone training at the moment.  Josh is a star at only 14 years!  He’s a fighter but it was obvious he’s been taking the rest of the syllabus just as seriously as his fight training. 

It was really special to me to see one of my closest friends nail her first ever grading.   Katherine is an old school friend who I dragged along to a black belt grading in Palmerston about 14 years ago and I think she thought I was mad.  It took until my nidan grading before she “got it” and I’m just so pleased and fascinated to see her starting on the Kyokushin road after all this time.  Watching her knock out the first kata I reflected on how young I was when I was in her place and what a different road it will be for her.  It’s a pretty cool sport that’s just as great whether you are 4 or 24 or 40 (just to clarify, she is NOT yet 40!)

Out of time!  Congratulations everyone!  It was a goodie!

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