New year… but nothing new… January saw yet again another lockdown announced across the country which meant that TKF would be resuming training online once again with the plan already in place to revert back to holding online gradings for our dedicated students who are also feeling the strain of constant back and forth restrictions with training.
Between the dates Monday 8th March and Saturday 13th March, TKF held its online gradings for the TKF students who had been keen to continue their training and progression despite the restrictions in place which meant all classes had to be put on hold until further notice.
Like the gradings held in June 2020, students would be waiting anxiously at the time of their grading whether it was in their living room, kitchen or even in their garden if that was the only option. Using their laptop, iPad or phone they waited until they had been admitted to a waiting room where the instructor would be waiting for them. Before they knew it, they were being instructed through their grading in their chosen room which was more or less the temporary training dojo for students throughout the online training sessions and grading. With students ranging from Little Ninjas (who by now had set up mats using cushions for mats as part of their breakfalls and rolls sequences), to Juniors and Adults who had to adjust and shuffle around as much as they could to fit in their syllabus without breaking anything or accidently kicking valuable plant pots or photo frames off the shelves. Online gradings is never without its near misses of almost smacking into a door, or stubbing their toe on the bottom of the sofa whilst moving backwards and not being aware of what was behind them. We would like to think it was because students were zoned in and focussing on their grading rather than forgetting that actually there isn’t as much room say compared to being in a full sized hall where other students would be grading. Occasionally there would be a delay because a loving pet would decide that they didn’t like being shut out and away from their owner and would take it upon themselves to interrupt the grading. All the students would admit that the pressure and nerves are still the same despite that they are still at home. One minute they are watching TV and enjoying a coffee, the next they are looking at their instructor who would be deciding whether they have passed their grading.
It was clear as the week flew by that there was nothing that would stop TKF members. No matter what obstacles were in front of them, they always managed to find a way round the obstacle to reach their goal. It was clear how much the students wanted to pass their grading otherwise they wouldn’t have turned up to regular sessions online or taken up a few private lessons with an instructor to guide them through their syllabus. Students waited anxiously as the instructors who were analysing their performances quickly jotted down some notes throughout the grading and then the moment came. The moment where students know they have done everything, the moment where you aren’t sure whether the waiting for your grading to start or the moment you have finished your grading is the worst part. There is always the waiting which makes it feel like hours when its actually only a few seconds. Of course, then there is more waiting when the instructor provides the students with feedback from the grading but it seems all the students nod politely when this part of the grading happened… of course it must have been that they wanted the results more than anything! When the good news was announced, there was a massive sigh of relief followed by beaming smiles of joy, they knew their work was done! They had achieved the next stepping stone towards the ultimate aim… black belt.
All the TKF students who graded in that week passed with excellent results and from an instructors point of view, this was a great achievement because the vast majority of students had either learnt their new katas online, watched YouTube videos, or even braved the freezing cold by having outdoor pts to get any form of help that they could get to boost their confidence before their grading. Which ever method they used, it clearly helped and the extra training even if it was for 20 minutes had paid off!
Every student can hold their head up high and be proud of what has been achieved. It takes guts and determination to pull through in these tough times and there are always going to be limitations. But if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. That’s what every single TKF student had proved that week. Every student has to realise the magnitude of what has been achieved here and speaking for all the instructors at TKF, we are SO proud of you.
Successful TKF Graders
Cooper Bradford Red T-Shirt
Charlie Hall Green T-Shirt
George Blackburn Green T-Shirt
Calisto Don-Daniel Green T-Shirt
Thomas Feilden Green T-Shirt
Charlie Barker Blue T-Shirt
Archie Ladbrooke Black T-Shirt/Orange Belt
Luke O’Leary Black T-Shirt/Orange Belt
Amelia Everitt Black T-Shirt/Orange Belt
Dom Hills (Double Grade)
Purple and White Belts
Brown and White Belts
Brown and Double White Belts