Chelmsford SKC News Article

On Saturday 8th March, Sensei Richard met up with Alasdair Ward at Dovedale Sports Centre to go through his GCSE Physical Education (PE) Practical Assessment in Karate.  Also present were Patrick (his father) and Sharky Austin-Coskry (KUGB Trainee Instructor) to help and support the process.

            11 March 2014: Alasdair studies Karate as part of his GCSE Physical Education Examination

Photo: The Assessment Team! (L-R) Patrick Ward, Sharky Austin-Coskry and Richard Naylor-Jones

To take a step back, and for those of you who are not aware, in 1999 the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), as a member Association of Karate England, developed a syllabus and criteria for GCSE and A Level qualifications in co-operation with the Edexcel, OCR and AQA Examining Boards.  With the KUGB teaching Shotokan Karate the documents were based on our style, but provision was made for them to be adapted for other Karate Styles.

This means that Alasdair, along with all other school students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, can take a GCSE or A/AS Level in Physical Education and choose Karate as one of the activities. 

For the GCSE Practical Assessment the minimum levels of technical competence required are equivalent to a 9th to 8th Kyu examination (orange to red belt). (More information about both GCSE and A/AS Level Karate Practical Assessment and Criteria can be found on the KUGB website -

Alasdair, a Brown Belt 2nd Kyu, has the advantage of being an existing Karateka who has been studying Karate for over 2 years now.  Therefore the Examining Board expect such candidates, like Alasdair, to demonstrate their skill at a commensurately higher level throughout the syllabus content. 

So, on Saturday, Sensei Richard supervised Alasdair through the GCSE syllabus whilst his father Patrick and Sharky filmed the event ready to give to his PE Teacher.  The practical assessment criteria covered basic Kihon techniques, Kata - Kihon and Heian Shodan and Gohon Kumite.

                    11 March 2014: Alasdair studies Karate as part of his GCSE Physical Education Examination

Photo: Alasdair Ward in Zenkutsu-dachi (Front stance) - demonstrating his knowledge of the various Karate Stances in Shotokan

Alasdair had been preparing for the exam and arrived early to correctly warm up and ensure he was ready to perform to the best of his ability. Once the first two sections of Kihon and Kata were complete Sharky, a Second Dan and 3 years older, became Alasdair’s opponent for the Gohon Kumite.   Sensei Richard was pleased with Alasdair’s overall performance and brought the Assessment to a close.

    11 March 2014: Alasdair studies Karate as part of his GCSE Physical Education Examination

Photo:  Alasdair performing Yoko Geri Kekomi (side thrust Kick) as part of his GCSE Karate Practical Assessment

The next step is for Alasdair to take his video and letter from Sensei Richard, explaining that he had supervised the Practical Assessment in line with the Examining Board requirements, to his PE Teacher at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford.  

In addition to the practical he has now completed, Alasdair will need to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the Dojo Etiquette, Dojo Code, Code for Conduct for Karateka, and Competition Rules for both Kata and Kumite.  Certainly his recent attendance at the CSKC Referee and Judges Workshop in February will help him with his understanding of the Competition Rules.

Alasdair joins a number of Chelmsford members who have taken Physical Education as a GCSE and/or A/AS Level subject. The option to study Karate as one of the activities has proved very popular and a number of our students have successfully studied and passed at  one or both levels since 1999.  We wish Alasdair every success with his studies.

If you are interested in learning more about studying Karate as an activity within a GCSE or A/AS level in Physical Education please speak with either Sensei Jane or Richard.