During the course of January we were able to present those who passed their black belt gradings in December their framed certificates and Nakmas qualified black belt register official registration cards plus a few students who were unable to pick up their Kyu grading certificates on the day. Congratulations again to Natalia Bak 2nd Dan, Martha Newman 1st Dan and Phoebe Hadley 1st Dan.
After the bumper turnout for the March gradings the June 2022 gradings were split over two weekends at our Bournville College dojo. This allowed the gradings to proceed at a far less hectic pace than the previous gradings which was far less stressful for those grading and the examiners. The first gradings were held on Saturday 11th June for beginners to red belts. The gradings went well with our students having diligently studied for the gradings over the previous months showing a good standard throughout.
The second weekend of gradings were on Saturday 18th June 2022 and covered the remaining Kyu grades and Dan gradings. This grading day started off with a presentation of Dan grade certificates for those who had passed their gradings in March and had a special presentation by Sensei Richard Amuzu of a black belt for Sensei Hession for her promotion to Godan (5th Dan) on behalf of the club. After the presentations the Kyu gradings began and again Sensei Sue and I were pleased with the standard shown by all. Finally there was a second dan grading for Natalia Bak who we are pleased to announce passed her Nidan grading.
We are extremely pleased to announce that Sensei Susan Hession, Chief Instructor of Birmingham & Weoley Castle Shotokan Karate club has been promoted by the NAKMAS National Management Committee on the 8th May 2022 to the rank of Godan (5th Dan) following a formal audit by a certified BSI Lead Auditor and the completion of training course requirements.
Sensei Hession works tirelessly both in and outside the dojo to ensure the club runs smoothly and all students get the training and equipment they need. Most students will be unaware of just how much time she dedicates to the club or those extra little touches she adds such as framing all dan grade certificates that help make BWCSK what it is. Therefore I hope you will all join us in congratulating Sensei Hession on her promotion. Those who attended the class at Bournville College earlier would have heard our announcement in person and we will be having a more formal presentation in due course.
On behalf of all the instructors at the club I would like to also add my personal congratulations on a well deserved promotion.
Richard Amuzu, Senior Instructor.
We held our first post covid restrictions Kyu and Dan gradings this month which is the start of a more normal grading cycle going forward. The grading day itself was on Saturday 19th March 2022 at the Longbridge dojo . In a return to the more normal schedule we were able to have a training session running along with the gradings. However, even we were slightly surprised when we saw everyone lined up from one end of the hall to the other.
The proceedings started with the presentation of Dan grade certificates for those who passed in the December grading.
The kyu gradings started with the brown belts and went down the grades so as to give everyone an idea of what happens as many had either not experienced a full grading with everyone gathered in the same location or it had been quite a while in front of that many people and their family members. The gradings themselves went well with a high standard maintained by all. Unfortunately the sheer number of people meant we overran the time allocated and were unable to present all the kyu grades with their certificates on the day. So these have been distributed on classes this week.
As the venue was closing we had to secure an alternative location to complete the dan gradings, luckily my gym, Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing were able to provide a place to conduct the gradings, the place n fact that Sensei Hession and myself had spent many an hour training with Shihan Cummins. Dan gradings are always very stressful affairs candidates have spent years training to reach that point and people failing is not uncommon so the possibility of their grading having to be postponed and then to relocate to an unfamiliar location at short notice to take the grading should not be underestimated in terms of extra pressure. I am however pleased to say that both candidates that day rose to the occasion despite the extra difficulties and performed well to pass their shoran and aidan gradings respectively.
On the Monday we had a small wrap-up grading to cover those who for various good reasons were unable to take the grading on the weekend. This consisted of a handful of kyu gradings and a couple of Junior dan gradings. Again we were pleased with the effort shown and the focus and quality in the dan gradings.
We would like to congratulate all those who took their gradings, we all remember what it’s like so well done. We extend special congratulations to Stephanie Waldron who passed her shodan (1st dan) and Michael Paul who passed his nidan (2nd dan) on the Saturday and Seth Newman and Kyree Notice who both passed their shodan.
Well with the pandemic and summer holidays it took a while to be able to organise these presentations but we were finally able to get almost everybody together between two days who took their Dan gradings in June to present them with their certificates.
Congratulations to Jacob McBride 2nd Dan, Angela Notice 2nd Dan, Jiannan Yin 2nd Dan, James Newman 1st Dan and Lincoln Boult 1st Dan, As special recognition of the unique achievement of Lincoln to become our youngest black belt which he has achieved through continued diligent training he was also presented with a boxed embroidered black belt bearing his name. Well done again to you all!
On Saturday 10th August 2019, the last session before the summer recess we held the certificate presentation for those who passed their dan gradings in June. Angela Notice , who passed her Shodan examination, Hanna B. who passed her Sandan examination and Sensei Jeffett Jenkins of Walk Right Karate Kai who passed her Sandan received their NAKMAS certificates and cards. Angela Notice received a special presentation of one of the late Shihan Cummins’ trophies presented by Sensei Dorien Cummins having originally trained with Shihan Cummins for a number of years in the past before returning to training and finally achieving her black belt.
We had the final kyu gradings of the year at the Longbridge dojo on Wednesday 19th December 2018. These were conducted by Sensei Sue Hession and attended by Sensei Dorien Cummins with Sensei Richard Amuzu joining whilst recovering from an eye operation and a special appearance by Sensei Austin Birks 5th dan, who came from a chemotherapy session to be there.
We were all very pleased with the high standard shown by all who graded and by those doing a pre-dan grading check in preparation for taking their black belts grading at the next dan gradings.
After the gradings it was time for the End Of Year Awards with this years Student of the Year going to Lincoln Boult. He now has his name added to the club shield which he will keep for the year. Shania Hopkins won the award for Best Ateendance and Supportive Student. Ajay Reeves won the award for Most Helpful and Supportive Student
Last year’s Student of the Year winner, Elijah Farrell-Reid passed on the club shield to Lincoln Boult receiving his own personal shield to keep in its place.
“Magic” Mike Paul was presented with his Assistant Instructors license. Mike has been helping out at the club for a while and is also involved with the clubs web site administration and updates. He has worked diligently since starting to achieve his black belt and his calm and patient nature pays dividends when teaching.
In what was an emotional part of the evening Sensei Dorien Cummins gave two momentos which used to belong to our late instructor and BHSKC founder Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan in the form of trophies won by Shihan Cummins to Sensei Austin Birks and Sensei Richard Amuzu for there long service to the club.
On the 17th October 2018 the ceremony for the formal award and presentation in recognition of the students Dan grade achievements was held at the Longbridge dojo. The grading was held at the dojo on Wednesday September 13th 2018.
The ceremony was attended by sensei Susan Hession (4th Dan), sensei Dorien Cummins , Carol Richards, Faye Tonkinson (2nd Dan) and Richard Amuzu (4th Dan).
The ceremony is a moment to recognise the progression of the students which included one student Bethany Bird achieving Nidan plus three other students in attendance achieving Shodan.
Students were also awarded special mementos from the late Shihan Cyril Cummins collection to acknowledge their outstanding contributions to the club presented by Sensei Dorien Cummins, a former BHSKC instructor & club secretary and widow of the late Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan. Shihan Cummins was the founder of BHSKC and started the Weoley Castle dojo that became Weoley Castle Shotokan Karate Club and instructor to Sensei Susan Hession the current Chief instructor of both clubs.
The certificates and awards were presented to:
- Bethany Bird – 2nd Dan (Nidan)
- Michael Paul – 1st Dan (Shodan)
- Daniel Ray – 1st Dan (Shodan)
- Jacob McBride – 1st Dan (Shodan)
- Daniel Ray – Shihan Cummins Katana Set
- Michael Paul – Shihan Cummins Wakizashi
- Faye Tonkinson – Shihan Cummins Competition Statuette
Special congratulations to our Student of the Year, Elijah Farrell-Reid who’s name has been added to the shield for him to keep for the year.