Saturday was not only a big day for students of the Irish Shotokan Academy and for its instructors but also for the Midlands Martial Arts and Training Centre as a huge childrens grading took place followed by the Centre’s first ever Black Belt Gradings.
The morning saw nearly 40 children take their final grading of the year with all successfully grading to different levels.
The afternoon saw the adults examined under a grading panel headed by Shihan Brett Halliday 6th Dan, Chief Instructor of Renshukan Martial Arts International along with instructors from Westmeath, Laois and Offaly.
Alberto Candais instructor at the Irish Shotokan Academy Club in Clara successfully graded to Black Belt after demonstrating techniques, Kata and Kumite.
Proinsias O Fearghail of Zanshin Karate in Kinnegead then graded to 2nd Dan after Kata Kumite and demonstrating his interpretation of basic technique, and defense against weaponry.
Finally Gerard McCarthy of the Irish Shotokan Academy teaching in Tullamore and Edenderry undertook his 3rd Dan examination. This was a more technical affair where along with Kata and Kumite demonstration, he was required to show his interpretation of the difference between Karate-do, the syllabus and competitive form of Karate taught to junior grades, and Karate Jutsu which teaches the less fixed reality of the application of the technique as it would be used in real life self defense.
Shihan Halliday was most impressed with the standards of all who graded and remarked on the high level of preparation which was evident in the standards seen by all on the day.