Black Belt Grading Success

Congratulations to Frank Rhodes who on 8th May 2016 (VE Day) was graded by IJKA World Chief Instructor Sadashige Kato Shihan 9th Dan and awarded the rank of Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt).

Shodan Award

Sensei Steve Cameron 4th Dan IJKA (Left) presents Shodan certificate to Frank Rhodes 1st Dan IJKA (Right)

Frank Rhodes started his karate journey in 1993 under the tuition of Sensei Stevie McCahill at the Scottish Budokan Association in East Kilbride, Scotland, which was governed by the Scottish Karate Board under Chief Instructor Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda. Although Frank rapidly progressed to 1st Kyu, he was unsuccessful at his first Shodan grading in 1995. Nevertheless, he continued to train on and off for a number of years until the time constraints of starting his own business and subsequently moving to Worcester, England, forced a break from training.

However, still keen to train, a couple of years after settling in Worcester and then in his 50’s, Frank found Worcester Shotokan Karate Club.

Under the guidance of Sensei Steve Cameron, Frank developed a new enthusiasm for karate and became a regular member of the club. During this time, Frank overcame a knee injury and subsequent related operation plus shoulder injury problems.

Another gap in training, again due to the pressures of work, was followed by Frank retiring in 2013, which has since allowed him to train regularly again at the club as well as attend several Kato Shihan seminars held at IJKA Buckinghamshire’s Honbu Dojo.

Eight weeks prior to the 8th May 2016 seminar in Buckinghamshire, Sensei Cameron announced that Frank would be training for consideration of a Shodan grading at the seminar.

With support from fellow karateka and the expert guidance of Sensei Cameron, Frank was graded by IJKA Chief Instructor Sadashige Kato Shihan 9th Dan and awarded the rank of Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt).

At the age of 61 Frank is proof that age is no barrier and personifies the WSKC club motto “Mukin Shuri” ~ “The way to success has no shortcuts”.

The club congratulates Frank on his achievement and looks forward to his further progress in skill and character building in the future.