21st July saw the first ever JKA Wales National Course and Dan Grading in Abergavenny Leisure Centre, under the watchful eye of the Japan Karate Association England’s Chief Instructor, Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta, 7th Dan.
Twelve-year-old Poppy Smith, a pupil at Norton Hill school, performed with excellent spirit and determination to obtain her black belt with perfect style. The grading followed a three-hour intense training session, and despite the temperature almost reaching 30°C, Poppy remained focused and performed to her usual high standard.
Poppy’s character and determination were evident in the run-up to the grading, as she trained three times a week to ensure she was in top-form. She is part of the Mendip Karate squad, and attended the National Championships in Crawley back in June, again, showing excellent spirit and determination, making it to the finals in kata, but just missing out on a medal with fourth place. Poppy also plays a main role in Mendip’s display team, and will be showing off some of her skill at the upcoming Stratton-on-the-Fosse Village day on the 8th September.
Mendip instructors, Andy and Julie, are extremely proud of Poppy’s achievements and hope she continues her karate journey with the same enthusiasm: “It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to earn a JKA Black Belt. Out of the many who start karate, only a few ever make it this far.”
Mendip Karate welcomes students aged seven to seventy, it is a great way to keep fit as well as learning new skills and building confidence. Anyone is welcome to come along, the only requirements being, good character, respect for others and a willingness to give one’s best.
We train at Chilcompton and Stratton-on-the-Fosse Village Halls and at Writhlington Sports centre. For more information, please contact Julie: 07709 875864, Andy: 07803 095208, visit our web page: www.mendipshotkan.co.uk or our Facebook page: Mendip Shotokan Karate.
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