It’s a black out as all students earn a belt

Seishinkai Shotokan Karate International members achieve black belts
Seishinkai Shotokan Karate International members achieve black belts

THESE martial arts talents are a class act after they all achieved black belts.

Eleven members of Seishinkai Shotokan Karate International clubs from age 10 to late 40s held their gradings at Hemel Hempstead School at the weekend.

Chief instructor Malcolm Phipps said: “The standard was excellent, as you would expect from one of the most successful groups in the country with these local clubs attaining a 100 per cent pass rate.

“With so many it was fantastic to get a 100 per cent pass-rate. Over the past five years we were looking at the records and the pass rate was around 50 per cent.

“I was extremely pleased. It was a fantastic standard.”

Third Dan black belts were awarded to Arthi Niranjan and Susan Carson.

Lorraine Redford, Leah Groom and Petra Ewington were presented their second Dan black belts. First Dan black belts were awarded to Mark Richards, Philip Barton, Olivia Christodoulou, Ethan Hagel, Stephanie Farrer and Akshay Nugent.

Mr Phipps said to achieve black belts members have to demonstrate basic moves, called Kihon, formations of movements called Kata, and finally, Kumate, which is using the moves to fight.

Most members train twice a week for their grades.

Mr Phipps added: “As they creep up towards the grading they up it to three times a week and it pays off.”

The members of the Seishinkai Shotokan Karate International clubs include those from Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon and Slip End.

These local clubs have also held a range of sponsored punch-athons over the last few weeks and have raised £993 for the NSPCC.

Mr Phipps said: “We try to do something for the NCPCC because we have got a lot of children in the association and it is nic e to put something back.

“I was very proud of them.”

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