Students make the grade

SUCCESS: Abi Niall, who earned her 2nd Dan black belt, with her coach sensei Jim Mead

SUCCESS: Abi Niall, who earned her 2nd Dan black belt, with her coach sensei Jim Mead

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Students were put through their paces at the quarterly grading examinations of Long Melford Wado Ryu Karate Club.

In front of a panel headed by sensei Jim Mead 7th Dan, a senior instructor with the English Karate Association, the students were put through a gruelling one- and-a-half hour’s testing on all aspects of their karate, including basics, punches, kicks, blocks, take downs, self defence and kata.

Mead paid particular attention to the kata and there was very little room for error in this part of the exam.

As a result of the examination several students were promoted.

Ninth kyu red belt: B Wright, T McKnigh, K McKnight, M Duke, D Roche. 8th kyu yellow belt: J Castle. 7th kyu orange belt: J Frost. 5th kyu blue belt: M Bocking. 4th kyu purple belt: B Nolan. 2nd kyu brown belt: T Bocking. 2nd Dan black belt: Abi Niall.

Thirteen-year-old Abi Niall has been training at the club for eight years and has represented the club at many competitions.

Her haul of medals includes one gold, four silvers and six bronzes. She also has trophies for both kata and kumite.

Her coach, sensei Jim Mead, said: “Abi has trained very hard over the years and is quite a character at the club. Her promotion to second Dan black belt is well deserved.”

n The Long Melford club meets every Wednesday from 6.30pmto 8pm. Call 01787 378914 for more information.