Saturday Grading. A New Beginning
Well, the first grading of 2017 is now done and dusted. It was well received by everyone who attended and went off without a hitch. There were many firsts at this grading. It was held for the first time at the new location, Shelley Public school. It was the first-time Kwan Jang Nim Park did not oversee a grading and test the students himself. Sa Beom Nim Michael ran and tested an entire grading for the first time. It was also a first for Sa Beom Nim Matthew to run the floor ensuring a smooth transition between tests and demonstrations and of course it was a first for all the students involved.
Remember to keep your eye out for a full coverage of the grading on our YouTube channel, “Power with Purpose”. I’m sure that you will be able to see the grading from many different angles. Subscribe https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9IUb5-ZhcF1qbO37MipIQ
There were several changes to procedures as well. For example, students now need to register as they arrive. This ensures a record of who shows up, reducing any mix ups throughout the grading. There were also several ushers, assisting people with their enquiries and helping them find where they need to be.
Finally, the new belts were on display, the reward / trophy if you will, egging on and encouraging students to reach their final destination.
There was always a possibility that the students would be unsettled being in a new location. This was certainly not the case as they all took to it like a duck to water, practising outside prior to the commencement of the grading.
Fine tuning their forms, stretching and keeping themselves calm and in control. Both Sa Beom Nim’s Michael and Matthew prepared paperwork, organised demonstrations and prepared the Black Belts for what was going to be a great morning.
Testing kicked off at around 11.00am with 35 coloured belts and 18 Black Belts in attendance, all keen and ready to perform. The 1st Dan Black Belts then opened with a demonstration of their form, speed training and free sparing, something that the coloured belts were about to attempt. Hi-Browns started the Senior belt testing and then the order moved down to the white belts. A break was created between testing belt levels with 1st through to 5th Dans all performing demonstrations of free sparing, one -step and board braking. Some struggled to hit to the boards in the right spot, possibly due to some on the day nerves. Everyone put in a great attempt with both successes and disappointments, either way they all held their head high having given it their best shot.
Closing out the grading was left to Sa Beom Nim Matthew and Steph Bebonis. She performed her own pattern that she had put together for her 2nd Poom test at the end of last year. She spun, twirled and manoeuvred her weapon with great accuracy, not dropping it once. Well done Steph! Then Sa Beom Nim Matthew ran through a nunchaku demonstration leaving the crowd wincing at certain points of the performance.
Well Done Everyone! Keep training hard!
All in all, it was a successful event with everyone putting in a superb effort and with all the formalities done it was time to receive the reward of the day, that new belt. Then, another first. It was decided to replace the idea of tips on a belt to a full stripe around the belt with the next level colour. This has obviously been well received as non-grading students requested their belts to be done as well. Something that Sa Beom Nim Michael was more than happy to facilitate. Everyone from white to red everyone performed exceptionally well and worked hard to earn their new colours. We hope to see all of these students eventually earn their own black belts or even get up and perform demonstrations of their own!
Tuesday Grading Toongabbie West
Tuesday night’s grading saw around 35 students in attendance with 7 putting their skills to test, seeking the next level. It is always necessary to provide an alternative grading location for people who find it difficult to attend a Saturday or for those who need a second chance attempt. However, there are limitations to Tuesday night gradings, primarily the fact that they are only available to junior belts. That is blue belts down to white. All other belts must attend a Saturday test. Being a smaller grading gives the Power with Purpose team the opportunity to have the junior Black Belts call parts of the test. Certainly, a more demanding roll and the perfect opportunity to develop these skills.
Let’s Get Started.
Sa Beom Nim Matthew started the night by warming up all the students before having the students sit down for the arduous wait. Then, as Saturdays test, a combination of testing belt levels and demonstrations took place with the junior Black Belts running a good portion of the test.
Another advantage of the Tuesday test is the fact that, as a regular class time, non-grading students, particularly white belts are given the opportunity to see what will be expected of them when its their time to test. They are even encouraged to take part in some of the testing activities, giving them a taste of things to come.
Two of our junior Black Belt gals, Piper Elsley and Kate Bebonis, put on an exceptional sparing demonstration which, on an intern ational le vel th anks to Instagram, has received great reviews. Great work girls, that’s something to be proud of!
The audience and students also got to enjoy another round of board breaking, with the Black Belts given the opportunity to redeem themselves should Saturdays effort not proven favourable. There was also a repeat of both Sa Beom Nim Matthews and Stephanie Bionis’s weapons demonstrations.
Great Work and Thankyou
Finally, a word from Sa Beom Nim Michael. “I would like to take the time to personally thank everyone involved with this, our first grading with special mention to my wife Sandra, both my sons Matthew and Jason for whom I could not run the club without their tireless support. To our resident photographer, Craig Butler of Flightograph, who provides some amazing still shots and fantastic video footage. Most of all, we could not have done it without the support and help of all our Black Belts, students and parents. After all, there would not be a grading without you. Thankyou. Humbly, Michael Rahn.”