Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club (CSKC), current Essex Chronicle Sports Awards ‘Team of the Year’ continue to be busy, this time traveling to Abingdon near Oxford, where three of our students all took and successfully passed their Black Belt examinations.
Photograph: Alasdair Ward performing yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick) during the Brown Belt class
In attendance were Chelmsford students Jessica Steadman, Wilson Tang and Kamil Wlodarczyk who had all been training hard to prepare themselves to meet the high standards expected. Especially as they would be grading under Examiners Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan), the UK’s first ever Shotokan Black Belt, and Sensei Bob Rhodes (8th Dan), a member of the Kumite Team that beat Japan in the World Championships in 1975.
Photograph: Three Chelmsford Students listen attentively to Sensei Bob Rhodes (Far right back to camera), then right to left - Ella Roberts, Anya Dunbar and Louise Filmer
The day started with the KUGB's Black and Brown Belt Training sessions, which are free to our members. Karate students, from England and Wales, had traveled to take the opportunity to train with these Karate Legends. The first session was for Brown Belts, this included all three hopefuls plus nine other Chelmsford members. The class was spilt, so those taking their Black belt examination later that day were put through their paces as a final preparation.
Photograph: Chelmsford's Brown Belts. Back row (L-R) Alasdair Ward, Ella Roberts, Jessica Steadman, Ian Gilbert. Front row (L-R) Louise Filmer, Campbell Ward, Anya Dunbar, Matthew Gilbert, Wilson Tang, Kamil Wlodarczyk, Alexander Lockett and Benjamin Pickwick
This was then followed by a course for Black Belts only. Amongst the large number of Black Belts in attendance there were eleven from Chelmsford training, including our Senior Instructors Jane and Richard Naylor-Jones.
Photograph: Chelmsford's Black Belts - Back Row (L-R) Richard Naylor-Jones, Teah Pope, Sensei Bob Rhodes, Sensei Dot Naylor, Sensei Andy Sherry, Jane Naylor-Jones, Andy Crozier and Wayne Lottering. Front row: Pamela Pickwick, Connor Payne, Jamie Lottering, Romilly Pope, Rosie Caddy and Megan Naylor-Jones
There was then a short interval before the Dan Grading examination. All three overcame any pre-grading nerves to perform to the high technical standard expected and all three successfully passed.
Photograph: Passed Shodan! - Wilson Tang (right) puts his hand up when his name is called with news he has just passed his Black Belt. Sitting immediately next to him are Kamil Wlodarczyk and Jessica Steadman
Photograph: Passed Shodan! - Jessica Steadman (left) puts her hand up when her name is called with news she has just passed her Black Belt. Sitting next to her are (L-R) Kamil Wlodarczyk and Wilson Tang
Photograph: Congratulations! Kamil Wlodarczyk receives his signed licence book with a hand shake from Sensei Sherry, with Sensei Bob Rhodes sitting next to him ready to offer his congratulations
CSKC Instructor Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones (5th Dan), who attended the day to both train and support the trio, was very pleased with all of them and said “The KUGB set extremely high expectations so this is a fantastic achievement for Jessica, Kamil and Wilson. The two boys, Kamil and Wilson have both recently celebrated their 10th Birthday and so to achieve this standard so young is excellent. The success for all three is based on their hardwork, passion and dedication to Karate not only just recently but over a number of years. Well done!”
Photograph: The successful students! The trio take the opportunity to have a photograph with the Grading Examiners just minutes after passing their Black Belts (L-R) Sensei Sherry, Wilson Tang, Jessica Steadman, Kamil Wlodarczyk and Sensei Rhodes