At a special course at the University of Bath on Saturday, five members of the Bath Karate club took, and passed, their Black belt grading to become the club’s newest First Dans. At the same grading Nigel Davies was awarded his Second Dan. The successful candidates are pictured above (Front row, left to right, Jozefa Glapiak, Nigel Davies, Gosia Glapiak, Back row, Tom Wilson (a ‘guest’ student from Mushin Karate club), Jake Bradley-Smith and James Langley).
The pass rate for First Dan is usually about 1 in very three candidates, which is why the rank of Black belt in karate has such a well-deserved mystique. It takes years of dedication to perfect the techniques, timing and precision necessary to achieve this rank. However, the most difficult challenge is not physical – it is to attain the correct state of mind. For the past few months, the instructors at the Bath club have been polishing the already honed skills of these six, along with the other members of the club. All six produced outstanding performances on the day and thoroughly deserve the recognition they have received.
The club trains at the Bath Sports and Leisure Centre on Monday and Thursday, from 7:30 until 9:30 and caters for men and women of all ages; the youngest member is 9 years old, while the oldest is in his 70s – and still going strong. Beginners are always welcome, as are students from other styles and associations – details can be found on the website.