Super six earn high praise after black belt grading joy
MASTER instructor Robert Bingham hailed the feel-good family atmosphere at his RB Karate Academy stable after six students passed black belt examinations under the gaze of an England coach.
The sextet from Grimsby impressed renowned national coach Jonathan Mottram after a gruelling two-hour grading session.
Mike, Tracy and Luke Easton were successful alongside brother and sister duo Robert and Heather Aitken, and Alice Hylton.
The group were scrutinised on a full range of karate skills – kihon (basic floor exercises), kata (patterns) and kumite (fighting).
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Five students celebrated obtaining their second Dan black bet, with Heather Aitken passing her third Dan.
Mottram, their assessor, has previously won Commonwealth, European and English titles in kata.
RB Karate Academy coach Bingham, who has practised the sport for 25 years and has been a black belt since the age of 10, said: "The England coach commented that all of the students performed very well.
"He praised them all individually and gave them advice on things to improve on.
"He also said the standard of the students was among the highest of the Shotokan clubs he visits.
"That means a lot as Sensei Mottram conducts courses worldwide on a weekly basis.
"It's always nice to hear praise like that, particularly from someone of his level and ability – he probably doesn't give such compliments out that often!"
Bingham, whose club has around 40 students, added: "I feel everyone is at a great standard for the level they are at.
"We have improved a lot in recent years and have national and international-standard fighters."
Adding to the family atmosphere, the two sets of siblings involved in the club's latest grading success came after John Raynor also passed a black belt exam conducted by Mottram last year.
Raynor, who originally took up the sport alongside his brothers Paul and Tony, trains at RB Karate Academy alongside his children James and Charlotte.
"Karate is a sport where parents and children can get involved together," said Bingham.
"It's a fun, family atmosphere at training, and they also get the chance to gain and celebrate their achievements together."
RB Karate Academy meets at Reshapers Health & Fitness gym, off Peaks Parkway in Bowling Green Lane, Grimsby. Contact Bingham on 07894 632330.