October 2022 DAN GRADING //
Shodan & Nidan passes //
On Saturday 8th October 2022 eleven students attempting Dan (Black Belt) gradings gathered at the SKR Hombu in Stansted Mountfitchet. The examination was Chaired by Sensei Michael Ring (6th Dan) with Sensei Donna Ring (5th Dan) and Sensei Stuart Trow (4th Dan) in support bringing 70 years combined experience to the panel. The SKR Hombu has been home to SKR for over 20 years and has witnessed countless Dan gradings since Sensei Michael’s began teaching classes there in 1997. This grading proved to be one of the most challenging.
The atmosphere in the dojo from the start was extremely tense as students arrived and began warming up. Seven students were attempting 2nd Dan and four students attempting 1st Dan. Unlike smaller gradings there were no spaces for students attempting Dan gradings in 2023 to join for the experience. Instead Sempai Ryan Ring (2nd Dan) was on hand to provide a partner for Kumite drills when required.
Over the course of the next one and a half hours the Dan candidates were put through a gruelling and exhausting examination of the knowledge and skill in Kihon (basic techniques), Kata (formal Exercises) and Kumite (Sparring).
Following the examination the panel considered the performance of each candidate and awarded: Alex Richardson (48), Daniel Breseme-Dominguez (13), Liam Dillon (49), Luca Burli (13), Paul Thomas (56), Tristan Caiger (13), Stuart Hunter (48) the rank of 2nd Dan. The panel also awarded: Aiden Moldehnke (12), Grace Richardson (12), Ian Michael-Para (11) and Santiago Alberto Chaves Jaramillo (12) the rank of 1st Dan (Black belt).
In a landmark grading all of the Junior students passing 1st and 2nd Dan were graduates of the Tiger Tots programme developed for 4 to 6 year olds by Sensei Donna Ring (5th Dan) in 2004.
“The candidates were put through an intense examination and their training and character shone through. All of the candidates performed extremely well under very difficult conditions and were subjected to a merciless grading, but they rose to the occasion and far exceeded expectations. All of the students and parents should be very proud of their achievements.”