On Saturday 12th May we held our Summer and first in 2018 Dan grading. As usual it was held at Little Staughton Village Hall.

It gives me great pleasure to be able to share the results below.

The day itself kicked off at 10am with everyone grading together across 3 tables. Thankfully for the students the weather was decent and not as hot as the previous Saturday. That said as usual it was important everyone did a thorough warm up.

ALL the students worked very hard and it was great to see the positive outcomes.


What is a Dan Grading?

A Dan grading is the name given to the exam used to asses a students ability to progress to a certain Dan grade. A Dan grade is essentially a level of Black belt. Many non-Karateka believe a black belt to be the pinnacle of Martial Arts study, however this isn’t the case and is really where the learning starts. The system was first applied to martial arts in Japan by Kanō Jigorō (1860–1938), the founder of judo, in 1883, and later introduced to other East Asian countries.

A Dan grade is symbolised usually by a gold bar sewn onto a black belt. For example, if you were a 2nd Dan you would have 2 gold bars showing on your black belt. In ESKA (English Shotokan Karate Association) Dan grading’s are used to attempt the following grades:

  • Intermediate Black Belt (No gold bar – Brown Belt with a Black Stripe)
  • Black Belt [Shodan] (After 6 months of training the student is awarded their Shodan – 1st Dan)
  • Nidan (2nd Dan Black Belt – 2 Gold Bars)
  • Sandan (2rd Dan Black Belt – 3 Gold Bars)

Junior Dan Grading

Congratulations to Sinrum Sahota who passed her junior black belt grading.

Shodan (Black Belt – 1st Dan)

  • Sinrem Sahota – St. Albans


Adult Dan Grading

Congratulations to the following Adults who passed their intermediate Dan and black belt grading’s. A great deal of effort was put in by all.

Intermediate Black Belt

  • Graham Fountain – Stevenage
  • Susan Page – St. Albans


Shodan (Black Belt – 1st Dan)

  • Jenson Basa – Stevenage
  • Nigel De Silva – Knebworth

Nidan (Black Belt – 2nd Dan)

  • None


Sandan (Black Belt – 3rd Dan)

  • None



Final Word

A great grading day with many successes! Remember, if you didn’t get through on the day, don’t give up, come back stronger next time.

Thank you to the grading examiners Sensei Mike Nursey, Gavin Paul, Paul Raymond, Paul Grimsey, Owen Ramsden, Ian Walters and Tony Stones. All 5th Dans and above.


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