Basingstoke Black Belt Grading

Written by bryan. Posted in Grading, News

Karate Black Belt, Adult Karate, Martial Arts in Basingstoke, Karate club in BasingstokeOur Martial Arts School based in Basingstoke held a grading on Saturday 8th December with members attending from both our Alton and Basingstoke classes. The grading itself was split into four different groups dependent upon age and ability. This was also one of two opportunities for Black Belt candidates to be examined during 2012.

Congratulations to the many people who came away with new belts, your own hard work, effort, perseverance and determination paid off. For those that were disappointed this time, listen and consider the feedback given to you, to help you come back stronger next time. Gradings at our club are examinations, you simply don’t pass for turning up, you have to prove that physically you can do the techniques correctly and that you understand the principles behind them. At a senior level you have to also understand the theory that goes behind it and be able to pass that knowledge on to others.

Many of the children excelled what they did, I’d like to mention particularly Samantha Butcher who is 11. She attempted her Junior Black Belt grading, for her this meant conducting a warm up in the younger age Children’s class, also teaching them a couple of groundwork based techniques and acting as the coaches assistant when necessary. In the second part of her grading session with the 10-15 year olds, she had to present two things  to the group:-

  1. Explain why a Black Belt always has to take themselves out of their comfort zone and what this means for their progress
  2. Explain what you think the most important part is in learning a Martial Art

It’s not uncommon for the presenter to get asked questions about the topic that they have presented and this proved to be the case again with Samantha being asked some challenging questions about her presentations.

In addition to this she then had to take part in over 25 fights, some in a competition scenario where the objective was to win the match and some, where she just had to keep going against both more senior students and against multiple fighters. Finally she finished up with performing her respective forms and katas. Samantha’s performance was excellent, it showed a lot of confidence in her skills and also a maturity. Without doubt she had proven her right to wear the coveted Black Belt that she earned.

Mention should also go to Louise Kelly, Ewan Furness, Hannah Boyle and Amelia Pomerance who all achieved double grades during the Children’s grading sessions.


Black Belt, Kids, Children's Martial ArtsThe final session was the adults grading commencing at 7:30pm. These are always more nervous affairs because the people taking part in these are always taken outside of their comfort zone and don’t know exactly what they will be asked to do. Nine of people attending this grading were being examined for Brown Belt or higher, so it was fair to say that the intensity was somewhat high as were the expectations from the examiners.

Congratulations go to Mark van Meerkerk and Emma McDade who passed their 1st Dan Black Belt examination and to Jonathan Swift who passed his 2nd Dan Black Belt. All of whom demonstrated strong physical techniques, determination, discipline and fortitude. Like Samantha all three had to also present various topics including their thoughts on ‘Deeper Training,’ ‘What makes a good student’ and ‘Defending against Knives.’ With several senior black belts present during the grading, it’s fair to say that the push-back to them was quite strong.

After a near 3 hour grading which included padwork, body evasion, knife defence, sparring, forms and teaching for the higher grades, I’m pleased to say that all of the adults passed and some are now ‘looking forward’ to their own Black Belt examination in the next year or so with some advice on things to concentrate on in their own practice.

Mention should also go Rob McDade who double graded.


Grading success at Tsunami Martial Arts

Written by bryan. Posted in Grading

Grading, Black Belt, Tsunami Martial Arts, Paul Pretty, Basingstoke, Karate, Martial Arts, TaekwondoOur Karate club’s Senior Instructor Bryan Andrews was invited to hold a seminar and grading in Iver for Tsunami Martial Arts, which is a club based in West London and Norfolk. Paul Pretty 4th Dan is the Chief Instructor of the club and he and Bryan have known each other for over 25 years since their years training together in Windsor.


The course covered competition Kumite skills taught through different physical techniques and included the concepts of footwork, bodyweight, guard, stance and how to score techniques.


At the end of the course, a Black Belt grading was held for a number of the participants. They were tested on their fundamental techniques (Kihon), their forms (Kata) and fighting (Kumite) as well as their understanding of the principles and theory behind their physical skills, in the form of a presentation to the assembled audience and participants. During the course of the 3.5 hour grading, they all had a number of unexpected challenges thrown their way in a bid to take them out of their comfort zone and challenge their thinking.


The following people successfully passed their Black Belt (Shodan) grading:-

Under 16s:- James Holt, Samuel Poulter, Ellen Taylor and Jack Friend

Adults:-  Gary Maguire, Mark Maguire, Paul Allen and Selina Lo

Congratulations to all of them and good fortune as you move forward onto the next phase of your journey.


If you are looking for a club to train with practicing Karate or Tai Chi in either West London or North Norfolk, then we can recommend and it’s Chief Instructor Paul Pretty.





What is a Black Belt

Written by bryan. Posted in Coaching, Grading, News

Black Belt, Karate in Basingstoke, Martial Arts Black BeltWHAT IS A BLACK BELT?

By Harry Cronk age 10                 June 2011 

A black belt is someone who has good…

  • Stamina
  • Someone who is sensible
  • Someone who concentrates 
  • Brave
  • Has good confidence and memory
  • Determination
  • Good listener
  • Has good knowledge about karate
  • Shows a high level of skill in kata and kumite
  • Has good commitment
  • Strength

A black belt is also called a shodan there are 10 Dan grades from 1st degree black belt, to 10th degree black belt

I have worked really hard and trained hard in karate. My stamina has improved since I have started martial arts, and I have always wanted to be a black belt.

A black belt is not the end, it is just the beginning!


In our Martial Arts Academy when someone attempts their Black Belt grading, they also have to do a public talk in front of their peers and their parents. These are the notes for one of Harry’s presentations at his Black Belt grading. After conducting a correct and safe warm up followed by stretching techniques, he demonstrated the correct use of his fundamental techniques. This was followed by 25 sparring matches including both Karate and Judo (including matches against his coaches) finally he demonstrated 12 forms and kata. Harry successfully passed his Black Belt on 11th June 2011.

Junior Black Belt award, Martial Artist in Basingstoke gets Black Belt.

Martial Arts Standards Agency British Judo British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body The World Union of Karate Federations Shi Kon Martial Arts British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body Safeguarding

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