I am often asked why we grade differently to many others in the Shi Kon Training System. I have trained in the Martial Arts for over 40 years to very high standard by top International Masters and have graded thousands of people all over the World, hundreds through to Black Belt – and a Shi Kon grade is recognised Internationally to be of a good standard. I don’t set the bar too high or low, it is exactly right and in keeping with any good club.
First of all, the standards are very clear and the same for everyone. There are no favourites and no nepotism, you cannot push, bribe or intimidate me to give a grade to anyone that is not worth it. They are age and disability appropriate, but to the same standard, it may have to be met in a different way, but the effort required is still the same. There is no ‘compromise’. If you just want a ‘belt’ for turning up or money – don’t come to Shi Kon, there are many other parasites around in the Martial Arts that will accommodate you, at Shi Kon we will teach you quality Martial Arts that require effort from both you and us and they will change your health and perspective on life for ever. The biggest crime I could ever commit would be to give a grade to someone that wasn’t worth it, no sane student would want to be the laughing stock of others and I couldn’t bear the shame.
In our training system, gradings are not linked to money, you don’t pay to grade, not even for Black Belt, this is deliberate so that you know when you receive a belt from us you have earned it and it wasn’t because we were short of cash. It is given without ceremony and when you are ready in class because a belt is important for the Instructors to know where you are in the system, what to teach you next – and for you, what classes you need to attend. At Shi Kon the Martial Arts come first and belts are not linked to ego. If you don’t have a belt you need to work hard to get one – and if you do get given a belt it means you have to work hard on the next part of the system on top of what you are already doing, so for you, have or not have means the the same thing – you have to work hard!
We plan your training schedule very carefully so it’s imperative that you attend the right classes and do the training you are required to at home, we will give you constant, honest feedback on your progress making it clear what you have to do to progress and if you are not clear, ask – we like interested hard working students.
Our club has a direct, strong, distinct lineage that goes back to the founders of our arts. We are a ‘community’ club founded to support those we teach to a proper standard, that is why we have Sport England’s ‘Clubmark’ prestige award for structure, safety and quality coaching, are constantly nominated for ‘Club of the Year’ awards by the local Council and why I have been awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for my contribution to Sport by Medway Council. We are members of and support the local Chinese and Japanese societies and demonstrate each year at Chinese New Year in Medway and London and at the annual ‘Will Adams’ event in Gillingham. We also support many charity events and are very active in the local School Sports Development programme.
If there is ever anything you are not sure about in our structure or training programme, we are all directly contactable through the website and whoever you contact is trained to ‘take on the problem’ and responsible for getting in touch with the right person to solve it and get back to you.
However difficult you may find your training, you always have our support, never, ever give up!