With the recent martial arts grading and graduation now over. I would like to congratulate all the students who worked tirelessly in the weeks and months before in preparation for this big day.

We started the day with a very special grading (2nd dan) which is a close door grading. This means that no one below black belt is allowed in to watch( apart from direct family members). The reason for the secrecy is that often the rigors and challenges the gradee’s are put through look brutal and seam unnecessary for the untrain eye or spectators who have never experienced martial arts.

The objective of a second dan grading is to challenge a student to the point where their mind and body want to give in, where they don’t think they can go on BUT the challenges keep coming. Its then up to the student to find SOMETHING left, to push past the mental and physical blocks, to push themselves further that they ever thought possible. Often there are loads of tears, buckets of sweat and even blood to achieve this grading.

As previously mentioned, this grading is a test in all aspects, but the biggest challenge is ourselves and our self-belief or often lack of self-belief.

On Saturday the 4th we had 5 students attempt the grading with 3 students successful and 2 getting the opportunity to try again in December.

To take nothing away from the martial arts students who passed I want to take a moment to acknowledge the efforts of

Brooke Ferguson and James Ritchie. Both of these blackbelts showed amazing dedication in the lead up and preparation to the grading, Brooke unfortunately had to stop early in the grading due to an existing knee injury, to her credit and displaying true blackbelt qualities and  she stayed and cheered on her other counterparts as they continued through the 2+ hrs. of grueling tasks.

James persisted through the first hour, sadly in lead up to the grading James damaged his toe which hindered his prep which played a part in his grading day performance. James equally impressed me by taking the decision in his stride and staying for the entire day and supported and graded other students throughout the rest of the day, WOW what an amazing duo even when faced with their own reasons to be disappointed they both turned that disappointment into support for their teammates.

To me this is what martial arts is all about being able to take what ever life throws at you and continue to progress and move forward. I’m looking forward to seeing both James and Brooke along with a few other candidates at the December grading

Congratulations to our newest 2nd Dans (the new title you call them Dai Sempaisounds like Day -sem -Pie )

Taylor Clarke 14 yrs – Taylor was amazing on the day and took out gradee of the day for displaying skills and determination beyond her years.

Zac Clarke nearly 16yrs–even with nerves running through every part of his body he push hard through all the rounds even when his body didn’t want too ( I lost count of how many times he spewed)

Brad Thomas 104 yrs lol – Brad was certainly up against in as the only adult attempting the grading. He had a long line of FRESH blackbelts ready to assist when asked. Often his partners where 30 kg + and very skilled, and motivated to ensure he earned his rank which he did.

We had many others successful in their grading with a long list to congratulate. Outstanding effort shown by all.

1st Dan’s (Sempai is the new title you call them in classsounds like Sem -Pie)

Senior 1st Dan

Jake Mattock

Madhava Barnao

JUNIOR 1st Dan


Ayden hackshaw

Murray MacPherson

Alex Joynt

JUNIOR Black belt

Cody Lippi

Adam Merenda

JUNIOR Brown Belt

DahlaiLasek – junior gradee of the day for amazing demonstration of skills and determination

Lawson Williams

Nathan Leg

Bentley Menaglio

Chloe Gilmour

Layla McLeod


Lincoln Miceli

Again, a huge congratulations to all students who moved up to their next rank.

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