Senior Kyu Grading 24th January 2015

Sakura Ryu JuJitsu is a club in constant flux, with students benefiting from the high level of coaching given to them all. These few photographs of a Kyu Grading for promotion held on 24th January 2015 show the students apprehension of what was ahead of them on the day and the elation once they all had passed the grading with honors.

Nominations were in long ago and the training had intensified over the past few weeks leading up to this day. Everyone was ready from the White belts to the Blue belts; promotion was at every level attaining levels from Yellow Cherry Blossom through to Brown Cherry Blossom level.

The students started to drift in from 11.30am, many wanting to be here earlier rather than the possibility of being late. An invitation was extended to the students to step onto the mat and try to relax. Many found by talking to others helped, while some simply chose silence to be the better way. Our junior students were part of this grading wanting to participate in the early stage to give back and help inspire the senior students.

The grading started on time with the official photo taken at 12.30pm. Going from ‘zero to one hundred’ as the grading started with the arm swings, kicks, and then the punches. Tumbles and rolls, up to here this involved everyone on the mat. The junior students provided us with a five minute hit out followed by a competitive sit up competition, arms linked, sitting up in unison. Everyone loved this including the parents and other spectators.

This was now time to say good bye to the juniors who respectfully bowed and shook the hand of all the seniors. From here on in the grading continued with no downtime, hard and fast with no quarter asked and none given. The Uke’s of the day performed an admirable job and helped so much in the free flowing of the grading.

One of the many highlights of this grading and there were many, was the Atemi No Kata. This was performed by Ben Patrick and partner who performed Uke. Although wheel chair bound Ben’s Mum was there and when asked what she thought, she stated “I’m so very proud of my son Ben”.

Darkness descended as the night encroached, with the end of the grading now in sight; the students fitness still holding strong as Kyoshi called “Matte” to the proceedings, the clock approached the seven o’clock mark as the students were asked to untie their Obi’s as the announcement from Kyoshi came that everyone had passed. Two of the students who were to be graded to Blue Cherry Blossom were asked to demonstrate their intended commitment to their club and fellow students, signified by stepping forward over the line before continuing to have their award finalized.

Since 2009 any student who wears the Blue Cherry Blossom has pledged their word before the students and witnesses present amongst the public to continue the journey with our club and help other students to find success. Amanda Hartmann and Amir Tvina were prominent in their step forward signalling their agreement to this pledge.

This was the first time that Kyoshi has asked for greater commitment from all the students, even the new Yellow Cherry Blossom students, together with everyone else who graded. Each student committed to Kyoshi to continue the journey, giving back to the club where ever possible and certainly to help other students to succeed.