We would just like to congratulate Dion Worthington on receiving his NAKMAS Assistant Instructors Licence. Dion has shown great dedication since we became part of Kenshin, attending almost every session, always early and eager to help out whenever he can. So we are pleased to help him take another step in his karate journey.
Christmas is almost upon us so on behalf of everyone at Birmingham & Weoley Castle Shotokan Karate / Kenshin Shotokan Karate Club we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and wishing you health, wealth, and happiness for the New Year!
Over the weekends of the 2nd December 2023 and 9th December 2023 BWCSK held the end of year gradings with students from the BWCSK Longbridge and Weoley Castle dojos and Kenshin Stechford dojo attending. The gradings were held at the usual location of the Longbridge dojo situated within the Bournville College (South and City College Birmingham) Urban fitness Sports Hall.
The first date was for beginner’s to red belts (with a few higher grades who couldn’t make the following weekend also grading) and the second date was for yellow belts and above. Whilst unfortuantely this time around a couple of students did not meet the required standard to pass their grading on the day never forget that just putting yourself forward to be grading takes courage as the pass is not guaranteed. Many karate-ka over the years have failed gradings (some multiple times) the ones who bounce back and come back training harder, determined not to fail again eventually achieve their goal. A very senior graded black belt instructor I know will often tell you that they failed their shodan multiple times but followed shihan Cummin’s motto of “never give in, never give up” and came back each time stronger until they passed. Well sone to those who passed we were pleased with the overall standard, effort and endeavour you all put in. A special mention for young Laura who took and passed her red belt grading all on her own at the Kenshin dojo on the Friday night. gradings are terrifying enough at that age never mind doing the grading on your own but she didn’t let that phase her and did very well.
The club is now closed until the second week of January so we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Have a well deserved rest after a year of hard training and we will see you all next year.
Many of you will know Becky Clarke and Andrew Smith individually as the parents of either Courtney and Harvey or Ajay and Paige respectively or may have just seen them either blowing the whistle or signalling the imminent end of the class times or guiding students around the entrances and exits and ensuring their safety when entering and leaving the dojo. For quite a while they have volunteered quietly in the background to help around the club as well as the aforementioned visible activities they have also help out with the paperwork around gradings. As Jackie has now had to step down from the role Becky has now officially taken on the role of Club Secretary assisted by Andy.
Hopefully all the parents at the Kenshin dojo should now have met them as they man the desk and take the fees on Friday’s. Those who train on Wednesday’s will also have met Lincoln Boult’s grandfather, Roger who man’s the desk and takes the fees for the Wednesday night classes.
We would just like to thank them all again for the tireless work they do in the background that helps keep everything running smoothly both in the original BWCSK and Kenshin dojos.
During Wednesday night’s class Lorraine announced that she was going to retire from her role at Kenshin Shotokan Karate Club as she felt for personal reasons it was now the right time with the clubs ongoing future assured. I must admit this caught us by surprise but over the last 36 years of training one thing I have had to get used to is change be it people stopping training, moving away, retiring or instructors and fellow students who unfortunately have passed away like Shihan Cummins, Sensei Franklyn Doras and more recently David Moxam. The one constant that remains is your training and I’m sure it has been a pleasure for Lorraine to watch you all progress until this point as it has been for myself and Sensei Mike each session since we joined Kenshin. I believe there are plans to setup a WhatsApp group so you can all keep in touch with Lorraine in the future.
Lorraine was part of Kenshin SKC since the foundation of the club along with her late husband Franklyn Doras and has been an integral part of this club ever since. She along with Sensei Peter Shuter kept the club going after Sensei Franklyn’s passing. When Sensei Pete eventually chose to pursue other avenues for his training she sought out another club to keep Kenshin open. As was evidenced by the emotions on display by her announcement she will be missed but she of course has a standing invitation to drop in to say hello and will be invited to the black belt gradings of those of you who have trained with her all these years now that a few of you are getting closer to that day. I’m sure we all want to wish her the best of luck for a relaxing retirement and for whatever she decides to do in the future.
As with any change there will be some questions so feel free to ask me (Richard) or Mike when you see us. To answer a couple we were asked on Wednesday. Kenshin SKC will continue and we are not planning to change the name of the club or the badge at present. There may be some administrative changes in the background to do with club registration which may appear on your licence slip when you renew your annual NAKMAS license. When we took over the club we did so because we all knew Sensei Franklyn and had trained alongside him under Shihan Cummins and didn’t want his club and its legacy to disappear so rest assured you are in good hands.
BWCSK held their September Kyu Gradings at the Longbridge Dojo over two weekends on Saturday 16th Sepetember and Satirday 23rd September 2023.This was a relatively small grading coming straight after the summer break with only a sinle student from Kenshin SKC and a small number of BWCSK students. Well done to everyone who took a grading over the last couple of weekends. Gradings are never easy when you have to perform in front of everyone and you all did extraordinarily well to take the examinations.
Thanks as always to all those who helped make this day happen in the background doing all the admin and to all the instructors who helped get people ready for today.
Richard & Sue
We held the July 2023 Kenshin SKC gradings at their home Stechford Leisure Centre dojo due to the travel disruption as a result of strikes and inclement weather for the March gradings. These were held over the course of two Friday evening sessions for the lower and more advanced grades. Senseis Mike, Jacob and Richard were pleased with how you applied yourself to the grading especially as the senior grades grading was postponed the night before the original date due to one of the examiner’s suffering a family bereavement which would have thrown many as they had prepared for the grading on that date.
Whilst as a karate club we like to run a disciplined environment with good dojo etiquette, it is important to remember that we all do this ultimately because it is fun. This may be things like the water bottle challenge, pad work or occasionally the instructors engaging in a bit of light heated free sparring with one, two, three or more of the juniors simultaneously.
In this case one of our junior shodan black belt, Phoebe and I were having a little fun with an impromptu sparring drill after the lesson doing a block and counter attack and gradually getting faster until one of us got through and past the block when we realised we had an audience and they decided to film. The first spontaneous run through actually got a lot faster before it was filmed.
Featured Post Image by master1305 on Freepik
The BWCSK Kyu gradings took place on the weekends of the 10th June 2023 and the 17th June 2023 with a few additional students who couldn’t attend those days grading at the Weoley Castle dojo in week around those dates. Well done to all of you who passed your gradings all the instructors were pleased with the standard of karate shown. As i always say no grading is easy and especially for the younger children they can be quite stressful but you all did yourself proud.
Special thanks to Harvey who assisted on Ava’s grading for the sparring.