Posts Tagged ‘Emotional Intelligence’

Black Belt Grading – Congratulations

Written by bryan. Posted in Grading

Basingstoke Black Belts, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Ju Jitsu

On the weekend of 2nd December we held our biggest grading of the year in Basingstoke. We had students from Karate, Ju Jitsu and Judo all grading. Of which Seven of them were being examined for their Black Belt.

The weekend started with the younger children from the Young Legends, aged between 6- 9 going for their first belt. Their grading consisted of a 60 minute class to give a brief reminder of the things they had to demonstrate. They progressed onto the formal grading itself which consisted demonstrating blocks, kicks, strikes, throws and groundwork along with their forms and partnerwork.

We progressed onto those pupils from Young Legends trying for their Orange to Yellow belts. The format was similar albeit with additional techniques required because of their greater experience.

Saturday finished off with a group of Urban Warriors, which our Martial Arts classes for children between 10 – 14 years old.  Members were testing from belts between Orange and  Green and given that they are more mature and physically developed, greater expectations were on their shoulders. In this case the examination itself lasted a full two hours with four examiners assessing the progress and capability of each person attempting their next belt. In this group there were some very polished performances, particularly from Ava and Mia who double graded.

Kickboxing, Karate, Taekwondo classes in Basingstoke

It was a bright and breezy start on Sunday morning for our Judo-ka. Judo for children is divided into Belts called Mons and there are 18 to pass before Black Belt and for the adults, six Kyu grades to pass. There was a wide spectrum of grade being attempted from 1st Mon Red belt all the way through to 1st Kyu Brown belt. We covered a wide of fundamental techniques for the first two coloured belts that everyone practiced and then individual’s grade requirements were practiced and demonstrated to the examiners. The grading finished off this time with Randori for all the participants, congratulations to Ross who passed his 1st Kyu, next step Black Belt.

Next up on the Sunday were the intermediate grades for our Urban Warriors and Adults classes ranging from Red belt to Purple and White. Given the age group of this group, the intensity and expectations were set high from the start. We never give belts away, they are always hard earnt and something to be proud of. This grading was no exception with some incredible focus and determination shown. At this level gradings are a real test of one’s skill and determination with fundamentals across a wide range of punches, kicks, strikes, throws, locks and groundwork all having to be demonstrated to a high level followed by Forms and Kata with Sparring to finish.

Girl kicks high

The final session of the weekend was the most eagerly and nervously awaited, our annual Black Belt grading. Black Belt candidates have the year prior to the grading to prepare for their grading with a ‘little project’ to help them focus and achieve. They study and reflect upon their goals for the year, their strengths and weaknesses, their physical activity, their diet, a personal assignment to research and discuss with peers, a lesson to plan and then deliver to prove their knowledge and ability to pass on their skills and knowledge and finally a review of their progress during the year. The theory side of the grading has to be passed before the candidate is invited to take part in the physical examination. The physical grading itself is 3 hours long and is designed to stretch all the participants. Everyone grading was reminded that at this level they had to pass each section of the grading or they would be asked to leave the mats at the end of that section.

In the grading this year we had members ranging from Brown Belt through to 2nd Dan Black Belt grading. We started with ‘volunteers’ leading us through the Forms syllabus from White Belt forms all the way through to Black Belt. With six examiners marking the grading, everyone had to remain focussed and delivering skilful techniques. They proceeded from there onto demonstrating single fundamental techniques performed which then lead into increasing complicated combinations of techniques. They then demonstrated throws and hold downs, before moving onto Padwork to test the speed and power of their techniques and also their reaction times. Individuals were then called up to demonstrate individual Forms and Kata, with a range wide performed including 16 Gates, Circles, Tai Ki, Enpi, Jion, Seienchin, Bassai Dai, Kosukan Dai, Kanku Sho, Nipaipo, Suparempei, Chatan Yara No Kushanku, Yang Chen Fu and The Dao Form.

The grading concluded with the sparring section which included multiple fights with dojo fighting rules, which included fighting at all ranges including on the ground. Black Belt candidates also had to fight against multiple opponents to test their resolve, courage and ability to fight under significant pressure. Immediately on finishing this, the Black Belt candidates carried on by performing more Kata or Forms and finally finished with Pushing Hands skills at a little over the 3 hours 15 minutes mark. It’s fair to say that everyone was physically and emotionally tired but had a sense of satisfaction for completing the grading.

On the Monday evening our Combat Ju Jitsu group were graded and again their syllabus gets harder as they progress with a requirement to be able to show many different ways of performing a technique against different people to pressure test it.

It was a rare grading weekend that everyone passed their grading and received new belts. We only ever invite people to attempt their next belt if we believe that they are ready to pass, however it is up to them on the day to perform to the best of their ability and to prove that they are ready for their new belt.

Congratulations to everyone who passed their grading over the weekend, especially our newest Black Belts, who can wear their new belts with pride.






5 Tips for raising a confident child – Self Defence 101

Written by bryan. Posted in Self Defence, Uncategorized

As parents we have an ability and even a responsibility to help our children to become confident. Confidence will lead them on the path to success.

Confidence is the belief in one’s ability to master your body, behaviour and the challenges you encounter in school, work and life generally. If our children believe in themselves, they will are willing to take more of the right kind of risks in life, accomplish their goals and accomplish more. Children who have good self esteem will find it easier to feel valued and accepted by family, friends and peers, they will be proud of a job well done and will feel good and thing good things about themselves and they will be more prepared for the challenges that they will face everyday.

None of us are born confident, it’s something we learn as we grow up and develop, regardless of a child’s situation or feelings. As parents we can help to improve our children’s self-confidence by giving them many opportunities to practice and master their skills. Let them make mistakes and be there to boost their spirits so they keep trying, even if they sometimes fail.

Have you heard the old Japanese saying, fall down 7 times get up 8.


These are some ideas as to what we can do to increase our children’s sense of self-worth

Create a wall of fame

Every child is good at something. Help them to discover it, encourage it and celebrate it by displaying it proudly for all to see. If your home is missing a wall of fame to celebrate their achievement your child is missing their moment of recognition. If you have a child who is not into team sports or athletic, try scouting/guiding. Everyone wins and everyone gets lots of badges. As children walk by their showcase, they can see at a glance five to ten years of achievement. This gives them a lift, especially during times when their self-confidence is faltering.

Nurture their special interests

Try to expose your child to a wide variety of activities, and encourage them through the ups and downs when they find something they really love to do. Kids who have a passion — whether it’s Martial Arts, Theatre or Minecraft, justifiably feel proud of their expertise and skills and are more likely to be succeed in other things at both school and in life in general. Unusual hobbies may be particularly helpful for children who have a hard time mixing with other children at school.  Try and use this hobby to help your child to interact with other children and develop friendships. For example, if your child likes to draw but most of the children in their class are into sports, encourage them to do drawing of the sports that their peers enjoy.

Focus on the Glass being Half Full

Help your child to be more optimistic and to look for positives and to continue to work hard towards their goals. Try to avoid offering glib reassurances to “look on the bright side,” or something like “don’t worry you didn’t really want to do that.” Instead encourage them to think about specific ways to improve a situation and bring them closer to their goals. For example if they are behind their classes in reading at school, offer to spend extra time with them reading their school books together. If they weren’t invited to grade this time, ask what they need to practice to be invited to grade next time and then spend some time working on it together to increase their chances of getting the result they desire next time.

Don’t forget also that the glass can be refilled, time and time again.

Watch something motivational to put things into perspective. Nick Vujicic and his positivity is a great example of what we should all aim for.


Don’t over praise your child

Everyone of us likes to be praised, but reserve it for real accomplishments, not just used as a figure of speech. If you tell your child that everything they do is “great” or “awesome” or “fantastic” then when things do get a little (or even a lot) tougher, they can be discouraged at having to face adversity.

What’s the secret to success? Hard work and lots of times things not going right and then the occasional success. The cycle  repeats until the successes outweigh the failures. Then we move onto face the next challenge. Give old fashioned good honest praise when it is deserved and justified that way your child will feel good, they’ll learn to understand that hard work, spirit, effort, failures and achievement are all part of a natural cycle but one that they can conquer and receive just rewards.

Don’t give in to Fear

Sometimes we all get nervous or scared about doing something. It might be learning to drive, asking a potential partner out for a date, moving up a class in Martial Arts or starting a new job. Sometimes fear is a good thing and can help us to stay safe at other times fear can be a real limiter to our levels of success.

Fear shouldn’t be ignored, sometimes its a real valid and sensible response. Are you afraid of swimming in a rip tide at the beach, riding on a motorcycle with no protective wear, swimming in a pool with crocodiles in it, going to war, skydiving et al. There are many things to be justifiably afraid of, they are risky and often dangerous to life and limb.  Fear in this case is a matter of self preservation. In some of these examples, although fear is felt, the action must still be taken, for example a solider on the battlefield generally has little choice as to whether to engage with the enemy, they have to to ‘just get on with it.’

Some kinds of fear we have to learn to recognise as not being fear of a physical outcome, but something far worse, a fear of failure or even embarrassment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it up quite nicely ” What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

Take the following examples:- The child that doesn’t want to try that new activity at school or has passed a new Martial Arts belt and now has to work with a more advanced group of pupils or where they previously loved an activity and now now longer want to do it. This is what, as parents we play the part of Sherlock Holmes and start investigating a little deeper. Ask them what they do in their activity, ask them what they enjoy and what they don’t enjoy. Compare notes with the coach or teacher and see if you can identify the real underlying issue. Is their enough fun in the activity, are they still still motivated, are others progressing faster than them. Are social pressures intervening, are friends asking them to do other things? Are the games consoles calling? Is the activity getting harder to do because your child has progressed and now they are being asked to further improve their skills.

Sometimes all it takes is a little constructive support from a child’s parents to help them overcome their nerves and worries and to move forward with more confidence and to set themselves up for later life.

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

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Telephone (01256) 364104.


Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
The Annex @ ITT Industries,
Jays Close,
RG22 4BA