Posts Tagged ‘karate’

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.






Muay Thai and Karate

Written by Jess. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Uncategorized

Muay Thai

Muay Thai, Thai BoxingWhat is Muay Thai?
It is a form of hard martial arts which is practised in areas like Thailand.  It is the art of fighting without using any weapons.  Muay Thai is thought to be a form of science as it develops discipline, knowledge and respect.

It is referred to as the Art of the Eight Limbs, as it uses: hands, shins, elbows and knees. Practitioners need to be able to use these limbs to execute strikes correctly instead of only using two areas which are usually fists and feet.

You have to practise Muay Thai with proper training because it can be dangerous if you do not know how to protect yourself properly.  This martial art keeps you in good shape and improves blood circulation. If you practise Muay Thai regularly, your flexibility improves which then means that the bones, muscles and the use of the tendons in bending and moving all improve.

Muay Thai requires bravery as practitioners need to accept there is danger and pain which is involved in this sport.  Muay Thai isn’t only used to gain physical appearance or skill, but improves the quality of life. This is due to: moral values and disciplines in life being taught to the practitioner, as well as to be modest, confident, and truthful and to avoid sins.

There are no major variations of Muay Thai, so virtually every style is the same – just minor techniques may differ.




This diagram shows some of the different techniques that Muay Thai incorporates.



What is Karate?

‘Karate is an unarmed combat that uses the hands and feet to give out techniques, and block them.’

  1. ka·ra·te


    An Asian system of unarmed combat using the hands and feet to deliver and block blows, widely practiced as a sport.…0l5.………..0.5GRKInmHFoM


Karate was developed in Asia, as well as in India, China and Japan. Over the years, there have been many variations of Karate, so there are now hardly any people who practise ‘traditional’ Karate. They are many different associations and styles of karate from Shotokan to Wado Ryu to Shitoryu.

Karate is seen to be a way of life instead of a way to fight people. There are 3 areas of karate- Kumite, Kata and Kihon. Every practitioner needs to know every area and be able to effectively put them into practise.

It is one of the most dynamic martial arts, and a practitioner can use their mind and body together thus allowing the power and strength of both to work in perfect harmony. Karate isn’t about physical strength, it is about how mentally strong you are and how with the whole body working, the strength will come through.

The word Karate is the Japanese word for Open Hand. This symbolises that the main weapon is your body, instead of weapons you use, punches, kicks and blocks. Practitioners are aware of the world, and so they can react to any situation.

This diagram shows the different stances that are used in Karate.


Differences in the way Muay Thai and Karate are taught

Muay Thai teachers believe in passion and can sometimes lead their students to a fall due to their hard teaching ways.  However, most Karate teachers treat their students with respect and try to help them to develop because Karate isn’t about how hard you can hit or hurt someone.

Muay Thai spends a lot of time on warming up and conditioning. This is because the martial art is mainly about fighting which can lead to injuries if your body is not prepared for the work or pain that can be caused. Karate however does spend time on warming up as obviously, no-one wants any injuries, but, the majority of lesson time will be spent on practising techniques to develop skill.

Muay Thai training is hard and high intensity all of the time. This is because they are preparing themselves for the fighting and the unexpected hits that could come at any time.  On the other hand, Karate training can vary from being high or low intensity as you can work your body or your mind at different levels.

Muay Thai doesn’t have many variations unlike Karate. In Karate, there are many different styles and associations, so the differences between each one will be bigger than the differences between the Muay Thai variations.


In my opinion, from what I have researched, Muay Thai appears to be an aggressive martial art due to the focus being on fighting. On the other hand, it does teach you respect yourself, others and the world around you, but in a different way from Karate.

Karate appears to be more about defending yourself, and not starting fights. The focus is spread out between different areas which help practitioners to respect themselves and others. It also doesn’t appear to require brute force or strength to combat an opponent, but skill and mental awareness.

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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