On Wednesday 8th October 2014 seven students from the Shotokan Karate Ryu (SKR) gathered at the St John’s Dojo in Stansted Mountfitchet to be assessed for Dan (Black Belt) status before a panel of Examiners with over 75 years combined Karate experience.
The Chair of the panel Sensei Dave Sharkey (8th Dan) is one of the most Senior Karate-ka in Europe, Chief Instructor of the English Karate Organisation (EKO) and Chairman of the European Karate Organisation Governing Body (EKOGB). The other panel member, Sensei Michael Ring (5th Dan), is the Chief Instructor of SKR and a Senior English Karate-ka.
The grading consisted of Kihon (basics) where Dan grade candidates were asked to perform rapid fire combinations five or more techniques given in Japanese by Sensei Sharkey. This was followed by each student performing their Grading Kata (formal exercise) chosen from a list of: 11 for 1st Dan; 16 for 2ndDan; 21 for 3rd Dan; and 26 for 4th Dan.
The penultimate test involved defending full power attacks to; Jodan (face), Chudan (Body), and Keri (kicking), including Mae Geri (front kick), Yoko Geri (side kick), Mawashi Geri (Roundhouse kick), Ushiro Geri (turning kick) and Ashi Barrai (leg sweep).
The final stage of the grading required students to demonstrated their free fighting ability showing their ability to attack and defend, using full power techniques with good control.
At the end of the examination the following students from the Bishops Stortford and Stansted Dojo’s were awarded ShoDan (1st Dan) and their Black Belts: Paul Scott-Stevens, Paul Walton and Heath Squire. Adam Bennett and David Clark were awarded NiDan (2nd Dan). Heather Mollison was awarded 3rd Dan and her EKO instructor certificate. Sensei Donna Ring the SKR Chief Instructor of Juniors was awarded 4th Dan.
Sensei Sharkey went on to tell students that the Shotokan Karate Ryu was one of the best clubs in England demonstrating a consistently high standard of Karate-do from both instructors and students.
the Shotokan Karate Ryu is one of the best clubs in England demonstrating a consistently high standard of Karate-do from both instructors and students – Sensei Sharkey | 8th Dan