2018 seems to be unwinding at break neck speed. Well they say time flies when your having fun. Between the classes, comp prepping and gradings, we have managed to collect some new assets for our ever growing family. Sensei Chris Carr is a very well known and well respected karateka with a huge wealth of knowledge. The AKA are delighted to be able to offer this Ronin a place to call home. Sensei Chris will be our chief referee, and will also be implementing a brand new training course for would be refs and judges. What a guy to have in our corner. We welcome both Chris and his lovely lady Nikki to the family.
Sensei Mike Stilgoe and Sensei Jim King head up a great bunch of guys across the water in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. Looking for a suitable vehicle for themselves and their student’s progression, they contacted us to see what we were about. Initial talks were positive, and after a few visits each way, the guys have aligned themselves with the AKA. We are really pleased to welcome Mike, Jim and all associated with Bembridge KC aboard. What a positive start to the year.
As a five, we are always looking at ways to improve the AKA, and our latest experiment was to try holding 2 gradings ( both with classes before hand ) on one day. On Saturday 10th March we met up at 8am at Havant and South Downs College and prepared for our students arrival. First was our kyu grade course and grading. Senseis Matt Smith and Matt Powell headed the 2 classes which soon became a battle of kiais as the students tried to out do each other’s karate spirit.
Our busiest grading to date, ran very smoothly due to Sensei Dave Galloway’s planning and also the help from some of our seniors Senseis Jon Watson, Amber Harrod and Chris Arnold. Thank you very much for your efforts guys.
After a quick sandwich and cuppa, our black and brown belt course began. Sensei Dave Galloway and Sensei Emma Williams delivered a great class covering the kata Kanku Sho. There was a really nice feeling of unity during the class with multiple partner changes during bunkai sections meaning lots of opportunity to train with new faces.
The black and brown belt grading that followed was one of our more physical ones. No quarter was given, and the candidates had to dig very deep to succeed.
We managed to wrap up on time at 5pm and returned to Sensei Dave's house to reflect and debrief over another cuppa. Our teamwork and support of our loyal AKA family made for a smooth, hassle free, and hugely enjoyable day. We hope our students enjoyed the new format, and we look forward to hearing their feedback as we move into the future together.