As lockdown continued to delay the nations plans, it was clear that due to the recent circumstances, TKFs June gradings wouldn’t be going ahead as usual. But that didn’t stop TKF from giving our loyal students a chance to continue their progress even if it meant performing their grading in their own living room, kitchen, bedroom or garden. TKF offered students the opportunity to take up an online grading which was held between Monday 15th June and Saturday 20th June.
With so many students continuing their training through TKFs daily offering of online sessions, it was clear that some were ready to take the next steps towards their goal, achieving black belt. Under no circumstances was anything going to stop many dedicated TKF students from being so committed to continuing what they first sought out to do.
Beginning Monday 15th June, the first of the TKF online gradings would begin and would mean that the TKF instructors would work through the week to assess keen graders, both Little Ninjas and Karate students. Obviously, compared to a normal grading, the circumstances were slightly different. Grading in a sports hall in front of a panel of instructors, parents and other students is a significantly different scenario compared to grading in front of a tablet or screen at home and your instructor is watching on the other side. But even considering being in the comfort of your own home, didn’t mean that the grading could be taken lightly. Students anxiously waiting whilst their tablet logs on, worried the wi-fi might give out, before being admitted to the waiting room and the instructor on the other side invites them to join for which is probably going to be the most peculiar grading they will experience.
The gradings would be carried out with the same format of going through the whole syllabus and setting the standard exactly like every other grading. Unlike a normal grading, certain restrictions were taken into account such as the amount of room available, certain household objects in the way, and noise levels so there was no disturbance of neighbours with strange yelling you would expect from a martial art film resonating through the walls. Even pets had to be taken into consideration to avoid trampling on tails or paws. Little Ninjas either braved the carpets when attempting breakfalls and rolls, some used cushions and some were fortunate to have mats. Everyone was set in the best environment possible for their grading with some even venturing out into the garden for space in the hope that the wi-fi wouldn’t fail them.
As the week passed, it was clear to see just how much these grading opportunities meant to these students. You would think that being in the comfort of your own home would calm your nerves but clearly not. Students nervously waiting for their time to come when the instructor pops up on the screen ready to take them through their paces. Students ranging from Little Ninjas attempting to achieve their next colour t-shirts, younger students grading for their next belt and adults the same. Not to mention that several students would be grading for the very first time as white belts, which would be a very memorable first grading for those students. Once the grading was over, the instructor would call them to the screen and run through little bits of feedback that had been picked up during the grading. Students politely nodding and edging closer because feedback wasn’t what they wanted to hear, but the final result. It was clear that once they heard that result… the months of lockdown, not being able to train in normal classes, not being able to see friends and having to settle with training along with online sessions, all that was forgotten for that brief moment… Success.
Every student who graded passed with flying colours and through the different circumstances they were all able to pull through well enough to earn their next t-shirt or belt. The TKF Instructors can look back on what has been a busy week for all, but will remember very fondly the desire and the determination of these students is what has got them through this and is a true representation of what TKF should stand for. That grit and focus to get round whatever obstacle stands in their way from achieving what they want to achieve. One big group coming together and continuing to support one another and realising that if you can truly believe in yourself, then nothing can stop you from achieving what you want to achieve. We speak on behalf of all the TKF Instructors that it is an overwhelming feeling to see so many students grade and even more so, seeing the reaction of the students faces after the result is called, they know their work is done.
Every single student whether they graded or not, can hold your head up high, because this can only make TKF stronger once we return and like one big karate family we can continue to do so for the years to come. Each and every individual who is associated to TKF, students and parents alike, those who graded, those who continue to train, parents watching from the sidelines… Take a bow… You… Are… TKF…
Successful TKF Graders
George Blackburn (Red T-Shirt Pass)
Calisto Don-Daniel (Red T-Shirt Pass)
Thomas Feilden (Red T-Shirt Pass)
Charlie Hall (Red T-Shirt Pass)
Luca Rayner (Yellow T-Shirt Pass)
Archie Ladbrooke (Green T-Shirt Pass)
Luke O’Leary (Green T-Shirt Pass)
Lucas Tottle (Green T-Shirt Pass)
Ayyub Izzadeen (Green T-Shirt Pass)
Clara Wooltorton (Black T-Shirt/Orange Belt Pass)
Halle Rae Carvey
Purple And White Belts
Brown and White Belts
Brown and Double White Belts