Latest updates from across the academy

By Admin
17 October 2022 10:08 pm

Congratulations to the trio of Bristol Karate Academy members that passed their dan gradings on Sunday at the JKS England black and brown belt course held in Nottingham.

Leading from the front was Academy instructor, Steven Connell, who passed his JKS yondan (4th Dan). Steven Sensei put in an exceptional performance on the day, notably in his kumite. He showed an excellent understanding how to control a fight and demonstrated a wide variety of attacking techniques and defensive manouvres. 

Since passing his sandan over four years ago, Steven Sensei has consistently worked hard in the dojo - both training and teaching - and also on the competition tatami, despite the period including a global pandemic. He's won the JKS England national team kata title as well as medalling at the same tournament in individual kata. Most recently he's picked up a silver at the Central England Open earlier this year. 

We're very proud of his achievement and know that our members look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience as he returns to the dojo with his new rank. Congratulations Steven Sensei!

But Steven Sensei wasn’t the only member of the Connell family to pass his grading. Annette Connell was awarded her JKS nidan (2nd Dan) after successfully negotiating her crossover examination.

After returning from a shoulder operation earlier this year, Annette focused on making sure she was fully prepared for the challenge.She learnt five Asai-ryu katas and worked through numerous injuries and niggles on her way to lining up to take her grading.

Her story is a great example for so many of us that often listen to the doubting voices in our heads; even if you have hurdles to overcome, if you commit yourself to a goal then you can achieve it. Well done, Annette!

The third of our trio was Alfie Teague, who passed his crossover shodan exam.

Alfie has increased his training in order to make sure he was fully prepared for his grading. It has been four years since Alfie’s last grading and in this time his karate has really matured. With more time in the dojo, his kata has been improving week-on-week. This was evidenced through the air of confidence by which he demonstrated his three grading katas. But it is perhaps Alfie’s kumite that has seen the biggest transformation, as he was able to show excellent understanding and phenomenal spirit to prove his worth to the examiners.

Alfie’s next challenge: his 2nd Dan exam, which he’s committed to working towards straight away. Keep up the good work, Alfie!

All three passed their JKS dan gradings under a grading panel of senior JKS instructors, led by the Head of JKS England, Sensei Alan Campbell (7th Dan JKS). Congratulations to them all and to our many JKS England friends and colleagues that also passed their gradings.