Sevenoaks Kyokushinkai Karate Club are thrilled to announce that Adam Holland, aged 24, from Kemsing near Sevenoaks, has recently had the honour of being promoted to 2nd Dan Black Belt.
Kyokushinaki as a style of karate is one of the most difficult to master, where only a very few people in Kent have reached this level or above. This is a fantastic achievement for Adam, who began training at the Club 13 years ago, following in his father’s footsteps. His father, Neil Holland, was one of the first students to train when the Club opened in 1991.
In order to assess whether he was ready for the promotion, Adam had to undertake a grading (examination). The grading system for karate is very formalised. To achieve the higher ranks such as 2nd Dan, requires years of experience and contribution to the martial art. Testing consists of demonstrations of techniques before a panel of examiners and includes everything learned up to that point. The examination is an application for the new rank and includes many aspects including kata, kihon, bunkai, self defense routines and kumite (sparring).
The grading exam was held at the British Karate Kyokushinkai Summer Training Camp at Felsted in Essex, over 4 Days. Grades can only be awarded by a higher graded representative. Students from all over the world attended to be assessed by the world famous Karate Grand Master, Hanshi Steve Arneil, 10th Dan. The grading itself lasted just over eight hours on the first day, testing stamina, technique, strength and fighting ability. The assessment then continued over the following three days. An incredible amount of hard work went into Adam’s preparation where an extremely high standard of expertise is expected for a successful grade. On the final day all the students gathered in the main hall to find out the results, where there was over a fifty percent failure rate.
Adam has since said “It was a massive commitment of time and discipline ! I have trained most days for the last two years preparing myself for this day. The grading itself was very demanding. We were pushed to our limits for eight hours on the day of the grading and continuously assessed for the rest of the time at the training camp. It took a huge amount of hard work ! I am very grateful for the expert teaching of my Chief Instructor, Shihan Ray Bond (5th Dan) and instructors, Sensei John Fox (3rd Dan) and Sempai Jag Takk (1st Dan) as well as the support from my fellow students, who all helped me achieve my goal.”
All the instructors and students of Sevenoaks Kyokushinkai Karate Club are very proud of Adams achievement.