Wednesday, June 27, 2018



What is it about the fear of competition? I can understand some who fear the risk of being injured in Kumite categories where freestyle is employed but in Junior and Intermediate grades where it is basic one / three step sparring in a controlled environment and in all kata categories - what is the issue?

It seemed in the past, students were reluctant to enter. About 5 or 6 years ago, I held a TSKC Only competition including all categories and entered all students. This was held at the Bierton dojo and was a great success with around a hundred competitors. A few months later was a JKA competition and about 25% entered. Same rules, same categories.

Since then we have had an Inter-cclub competition against Yushikai where around 65 students took part, we had recently, last year 2017, participated in the Central Region competition where we entered half of the competitors. There were only 102 in the competition.

Recently at the Nationals we entered 11! Such a poor show. Is it a lack of confidence performing in front of strangers? Thinking you're not good enough?

I have tried to reiterate that every JKA England club, even other Associations, are alike. Students who train just as much as each other.

Well I'm trying again in October 2018 with a Kata Only competition for TSKC students. All are entered. Let's see how that goes. Surely around 100% turn out? It's only kata!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

It's at times like this when Instructors, such as myself, have the time to reflect over the year that has past and realise just how lucky we are to have such good quality students (I am not talking about the standard of their karate either!)

Thank you, each and every one of you for being a member of TSKC! Here's looking at next year and the pleasures it has to bring.

We have at least three competitions to look forward to with the possibility of going to another two. So let's hope that more of you participate this year having sampled what it was all about earlier this year. You've got to be in it, to win it! so they say.

We are trialling our next Kyu grading on a Saturday and we will be inviting my personal friend, Sensei David Paulus from Yushikai, to join me in taking the grading examination. The remaining dates for the year need to be arranged.

Both David and I will be going to Japan in April to take some examinations ourselves and once again, enjoy the hospitality of the Japanese.

We currently have 16 active 1st Kyu grades in the club, so potentially, we have at least 16 new black belts in the club for 2017. Wishing them all the best. Maybe, after our great success in December's grading they will all train harder than ever before and follow in their predecessors footsteps.

Hope you have all had a very Merry Christmas and / or Hanukkah and wish you all a very prosperous New Year for 2017.


Friday, November 06, 2015

Old Times

Obviously tried and tested matters are the best way to find out what works best. I promised earlier this year that I would revert to having 4 regular gradings during the year and it has been done! In 2016 we have gradings in March, June, September and December. What does this mean to the TSKC student? Well, the cynical side of me already thinks that the idea of having 3 gradings a year would give students more time to prepare for their grading and give them extra time to reach the required number of lessons needed to grade actually meant it gave some students more time not to reach the required number of lessons required to grade.

The committed students didn't need the extra time and as a result of the change, they were the ones that were being made to wait. The students who didn't show the commitment in the first place still didn't reach either the required  standard or number of lessons anyway.

So what will these changes mean? Simple really. Nothing - to those students who are committed to their training already. It does mean that those students who aren't will not be in a position to fulfil the criteria for grading every three months.

What are those requirements? Well let me remind you.

10th Kyu (White Belts)
For novices, they need to have attended 12 lessons and have waited at least two months prior to the first regular grading to 9th Kyu.

9th Kyu - 1st Kyu (Orange - Brown/2White stripe Belts)
Students must wait a minimum of 3 months between gradings and attend 20 lessons. Additionally, they must also meet the required standard to take the next grading.

1st Kyu - Black Belt
There must be a minimum period of 6 months before grading, have attended 44 lessons, have attended at least 2 National / International courses - one of which within 12 months of the grading date. The course on the day does not count towards a course for that grading. Any student trying for their Shodan (first Black Belt) must also pass a Shodan Assessment which consists of a written exam as well as a practical test. 60% pass in each one is required to take your grading.

We will just have to see whether reverting to 4 gradings is the right thing to do. Personally, I think it is as it gives every student the opportunity to get the best out of themselves. Here's looking forward to a busy 2016.