Martial arts success

Students from Excalibur martial arts club haven’t let the cold weather slow them down. The winter has seen them enjoying black belt pre-gradings, a GTI patterns day, a canoe weekend on the River Severn, and even some Nerf gun tournaments – all while managing to fit in a national black belt grading, regional colour belt grading and a British tournament.

A group of students were successful in passing both the physical and theory sections of the GTI colour belt grading and were awarded their new belts and grading certificates by chief instructor Seamus McGinley. Shortly afterwards, at the GTI Black Belt Grading in Derby, Paul Lippitt was promoted to 1st Dan Black Belt and Rob Hall was promoted to 2nd Dan Black Belt, while Dean Lewis was also successful in being promoted to 3rd Dan Black Belt.

The club also sent its first All Black Belt team to the GTI British Open Tournament in Cheltenham at the end of the year. Students Karl Thompson, Connor McGinley, Dan Benham and Amelie Benham all competed in very tough divisions with support and coaching from fellow students and tournament officials. Karl Thompson and Amelie Benham came away with more medals in their respective sparring divisions after some very intense rounds and extra time. Meanwhile, Seamus McGinley also competed in the Men’s Black Belt Veterans Sparring division, narrowly missing out on a medal.

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