2011 Shitokai New Zealand DAN Grading - Saturday 17th December 2011
Karatedo Shitokai - The Karatedo Shitokai December gradings were held again in Whangarei on 17th December. This year, as well as the DAN gradings, there were many students grading for high Kyu levels, including five for 1st Kyu and eight for 2nd Kyu.
It is good to report that all Kyu gradees were successful, with some very good performances, particularly among the 1st kyu gradees, who showed the step up necessary to acheive 1st Kyu. The new 2nd Kyu gradees know they have a big step up next year to acheive 1st Kyu themselves, and the new 1st Kyu gradees who watched the Dan gradings also know the big improvement they will need in 2012 to acheive Shodan at the end of the year. However, I am sure they will put the work in necessary to acheive that goal.
Traditionally, the December gradings are where the Dan grade hopefuls go through the ropes, and this year was no exception, with Zara Wech, Kieran Nuku and Nicky Roberts attempting their gradings.
Zara was first, attempting Shodan, and put on an excellent performance in what is always a very hard grading. Her Kihon and Bunkai was well performed and her "spirit" kumite section was a brave performance. Zara was exhausted by the end, and deserved her new Shodan grade. She informed me that she slept with her new black belt on the Saturday night which shows how much she values it. Well done Zara.
Kieran Nuku from our Palmerston North club achieved his Nidan, putting on a very spirited performance. Nidan is another step up from Shodan, and his performance showed that he has put the "hard yards" in. His knife and club defence was particularly good to watch against his Father Dave Nuku, who really put him through the ropes. Again, well done Kieran.
Nicky Roberts was attempting Sandan, a very technically demanding grade, and she flew through the grading, showing all the excellent kihon she excels at, and her knife & club defence was, to use a word I very seldom use, awesome. There was a big audience for the Dan gradings and the crowd showed their appreciation of Nicky's skill and ability in that section of the grading. Nicky is Karatedo Shitokai's first Female Sandan, and she is very well deserving of the grade. It finishes of a stellar year for her, and I know she will push on in future years to much greater things.
A very big congratulations to all successful gradees, you are growing into fine Karateka, and I hope you all push on to the higher grades that you are all capable of achieving. Sensei Bob Dalton