Ashington karate students make the grade

Four students from Ashington Karate Club recently passed their next Dan gradings.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 1:22 pm
Evie Ackroyd, Ehsan Baniyaghoob, James De Vera and Louis Parsons with the grading examiners.

A grading was held in Sunderland, where over 40 hopeful students undertook the examination for Shodan (black belt) or Nidan (second degree black belt).

The grading was taken by Sensei Andy Sherry, 9th Dan (chief instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain) and Sensei Bob Poynton, 8th Dan. The grading focussed on all three aspects of karate – kihon (basics), kata (set forms) and kumite (sparring).

Ehsan Baniyaghoob undertook the arduous grading for Shodan and passed on his first attempt. Only half of the graders passed, with even less being first time passes. Louis Parsons, James De Vera and Evie Ackroyd all passed their Nidan grading, again on first attempt.

Senior club instructor Sensei Jill Kelly said: “Ehsan passed his Shodan grading with a very strong performance throughout. Our three students going for Second Dan - Evie, Louis and James all did really well in their respective gradings, and although you can never be absolutely sure, Sensei Trish and I thought they deserved to pass - and they did!

“All the hard training paid off! The full pass rate for first time graders is low, and not everyone passes by a long way. Well done!”

Members of the Ashington Karate Club also recently attended the KUGB Northern Region Championships in Sunderland.

Jessica Peel won the girls’ U5ft 3in kumite (sparring).

Denny Shy was second in the children’s black belt kata (set forms) and third in the kumite.

Charlotte Reason finished second in the children’s brown belt kata and third in the Ippon kumite.

Sophie Gordon was second in the adult kyu kata and the club was also successful in several team events.

Ashington Karate Club welcome new beginners on Saturday mornings at Ashington Leisure Centre from 10am-11:30am, and at Josephine Butler Campus on Thursday evenings from 6-7pm.

Further information can be found by contacting Sensei Jill Kelly on 07930324556 or visiting