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Shotokan Karate Ryu members take part in kyu grading at Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre in Stansted

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More than 150 students took part in Shotokan Karate Ryu’s quarterly kyu grading for white to brown belts.

They gathered at the Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre in Stansted for the event, which also saw a dozen members complete a mock black-belt grading to prepare them for the real thing.

SKR, which holds training sessions in both Bishop’s Stortford and Stansted, remain true to the traditional style of karate taught by the late, great Hirokazu Kanazawa (10th dan), who was the legendary winner of the first all-Japan karate tournament and founder of Shotokan Karate International.

Shotokan Karate Ryu (55497363)
Shotokan Karate Ryu (55497363)

Training includes the focus on basic techniques (kihon), formal exercises (kata) and fighting drills (kumite), all of which were tested during the grading.

Despite two years of disruption caused by the pandemic, students have continued to train online with sensei Michael Ring (sixth dan) and utilised the Karate Bitesize website developed during the first lockdown to maintain their training.

These efforts, combined with a return to normal lessons, culminated in an exciting and challenging examination for their next kyu (coloured) belt.

“It is a testament to the discipline and determination of the students that so many were able to continue their training during the pandemic and return to lessons ready to commence normal training,” said Ring.

“Kanazawa Kancho would have been pleased to know that the standard of karate-do on display was as strong as ever and SKR continues to live up to his legacy.”

Visit skr.org.uk or email skr@skr.org.uk to find out more about the club and its training sessions.

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