October 8, 2015
Burnham youngsters complete gruelling black sash grading

Several students from Berrow's Fei Lung Kwan Kung Fu Club have successfully completed their Junior Black Sash Grade during a special grading event held in the village.

The students Cerys Thomas, Sophie Butt and Rhiana Sinclair from Burnham-On-Sea plus Adam and James Kellett from Buckinghamshire are aged between 14-17 years, and earned the title of Xiao Long (Little Dragon).

The group's leader, Master Patrick Barber, told "All five students demonstrated exceptional commitment and discipline with years of hard martial arts training."

"They have studied complex techniques, created their own forms (a series of self defence and attacking techniques), learnt Chinese words and taken onboard the customs and disciplines of the Society plus written six essays and a project relating to China."

"The students have been pushed to their physical limits over the years and were required to do 100 of each press ups, sit ups, squats, leg raisers, squat thrusts and burpees with a minimum of stops plus full stretches, all of which was just the start of their grading."

They started with a 1,500 metre run and all five beat their previous personal best times. This was followed by 10 x 60 metre sprints with a jog in between and then an hour and a half of weight training including kicking and punching with weights, bench press, shoulder press, squats, sit ups with weights, step ups and 3x3 minutes of horse stance.

The afternoon was dedicated to a Technical Assessment which took three hours. This involved the students doing the complete syllabus which included various kick, punches, take down techniques, holds, locks, self defence and attacking techniques. The Society's forms include the use of a staff and a broad sword plus their own forms and last but by no means sparring.

In total the Grading lasted eight gruelling hours which included their academic assessment. The final part was the Initiation Ceremony - a very traditional Chinese ceremony where they were presented with their sashes and certificates.

The students were elated with their success and thanked Master Patrick Barber, Chief Instructor Ben Peel Chief Instructors and Instructors Kain Walton and Gordon Joyce for their teaching and support over the years.

Patrick said: "Only the strongest of mind, body and spirit with good attitudes and discipline stay the course. The rest just fade away."


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