On Saturday 17th November we held our Winter 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 the juniors first on table 1 (Sensei’s Gavin, Paul R, Tony and Angus). After the juniors it was time for the adults attempting Intermediate Black Belt, Shodan and Nidan, these were split between the 2 tables. Finally it was time for Warwick to take the stage and grade in front of table 2 (Sensei Nursey, Sensei Owen and Sensei Ian).

With the weather a bit chilly outside, it was important everyone did a thorough warm up and kept warm throughout their grading. ALL the students worked very hard and it was great to see the positive results.

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 Ria Sahota who passed her junior black belt grading and also Channelle De Peralta who passed her physical element of the grading but just needs to take her terminology and history exams.

Shodan (Black Belt – 1st Dan)

  • Ria Sahota – St. Albans
  • Channelle De Peralta – Stevenage

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

  • Mark Ladyman – Stopsley
  • Hans Barnard – St. Albans

Shodan (Black Belt – 1st Dan)

  • Graham Fountain – Knebworth/Stevenage
  • Susan Page – St. Albans
  • Tom Whalley – Hitchin
  • Andrew Leedham – Hitchin
  • Nick Kozuch – Hitchin

Nidan (Black Belt – 2nd Dan)

  • Matt Sanderman – Stevenage
  • Ian Drew – St. Albans

Sandan (Black Belt – 3rd Dan)

  • Warwick Gray – Hitchin

Other Pictures

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, Owen Ramsden, Ian Walters, Tony Stones and Angus Pearson. All 5th Dans and above.


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