Black belts to Blackheath

Adam Hewitt, Amanda Baldwin, Sensei Paul Baldwin and their senior instructor Shihan Ian Thomas.

Three Narrandera Karate Club members have acquired their Black Belts after a year’s training and a gruelling grading process.

On Friday November 30, several Narrandera Karate Club members made the long drive to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains to take part in a Black Belt grading.

Sensei Paul Baldwin, Amanda Baldwin and Adam Hewitt had been training for this moment for more than 12 months and were ready for the challenge that lay ahead.

On the Friday night, the three of them started their grading by demonstrating their self defence skills to show that they were able to defend themselves against a variety of attacks.

At 7 am the following morning they were back at the dojo to complete an hour and a half of basics. This involved demonstrating the ability to perform a variety of blocks, strikes, kicks and combinations to a high standard.

After a short break they were back again to demonstrate kata (a set pattern of moves), weapons and technical sparring. Sensei Paul then had to defend himself against attacks from multiple opponents who came from different angles with different attacks.

A long lunch break was used by the three graders to fuel themselves back up and prepare for the hardest physical part of the grading, the sparring.

At 2:30 they headed down to the dojo and went through a conditioning session before the sparring began. What followed was more than two hours of contact sparring.

While Amanda took a stiff kick to the head, she was determined not to stay down and to finish her grading strong. To finish the sparring part of the grading, Sensei Paul, Amanda and Adam had to complete a series of “line fights”.

This is where a line of people stands in front of you and must be fought one after the other with no rest. Amanda and Adam both had eight people to fight while Sensei Paul had 12.

After the sparring there was a short break before once again returning to the dojo to perform their demonstration and await the presentation of new grades.

Amanda and Adam both were successful in obtaining their black belts while Sensei Paul successfully graded up to full second dan (Nidan).

A long 12 months of training and hard work had payed off for all. The graders were well supported by Brett, Craig and Zoe as well as Adam’s sisters and mother.
A massive congratulations goes to all graders who now move along the path of their martial arts journey.

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