A huge congratulations to Ethan Stonton in Year 6 who has successfully graded for his pre-black belt (pre 1st Dan) in Karate. Ethan has been coached for four and a half years now by Collin and Danny Rudkin of Southern England Karate Federation, where he is an elite squad member.
The following account was written by Mr Stonton after what appears to have been a very long and emotional day:
After five hours of training today, Ethan has successfully graded for his pre-black belt. There were around 25 students, purple belt and above ranging in age from 9 to 16 years old, taking their higher gradings with Southern England Karate Federation. Ethan was one of the youngest but one of the top 4 belts with only two grading for black above him and another boy grading for pre-black alongside him.
He monstered it, achieveing a pass mark of 72%, second highest in the entire group, and his highest grading score ever! I watched every moment and he was, quite honestly (and I know I am biased) awesome at all disciplines: basics, advanced techniques, kata, knife defences and kumite (sparring). As he is getting older, he is getting stronger but not losing any of his speed.
In his final kumite bout, the last of the day, he took an almighty whack to the side of the knee when his opponent got a front kick completely wrong. For once, Ethan mis-timed getting out of the way and he was taken off the mat.
We are all massively proud of him. His next grading will probably be 12 months away. Should he get through that, he will be a black belt 1st Dan... at the age of 11!!