In baking temperatures, twenty of our students underwent a stern examination of their technique and commitment at All Saints Church Hall, yesterday. It was hard, sweaty work, but they went to it with a will. Here's what happened.
The junior grades bow in at the start of the grading.
They are soon giving it everything, demonstrating the kicks they know...
... and the punches.
They split into two groups for kata.
Here is the first group, finishing Pinan Nidan...
... and the second group at the same point.
The second group stays up for one more kata, Pinan Shodan.
Then the higher grades take the floor.
They run through all the basic kicks, strikes and blocks.
Here, showing a mawashigeri "roundhouse" kick.
Commitment is etched on Seamus' face...
... and on John's, but everyone is giving plenty.
On to more advanced techniques, such as the lunging punch.
The one everyone fears, ushirogeri, the back kick...
... which, in general, they pull off pretty well.
This group also splits for kata. Seamus, Diesel, John and Amelia perform Pinan Nidan...
... and go through to Pinan Sandan.
The other group runs through the same katas.
Unusually, because of the heat, the two groups are alternated to give them a break. The first group steps out again, for Pinan Yondan.
Then the second group returns once more...
... to complete the Pinan kata.
They then move on to advanced kata, beginning with the 72-move Kushanku...
... and after that, still more is required. Given the choice, they all opt for Chinto.
While the instructors collate the results, the graders are stretched out...
... with the obligatory standing on one foot.
Finally, Kevin reads the results. Everyone has passed, and there have been four first class passes. The heat hasn't stopped our students from proving their worth once again!