Last week saw both Happidojo Judo Clubs in Norfolk (Iceni Academy, Methwold and Sandringham Centre, Marham) complete their gradings, in which all students who participated passed successfully.
This ranged from complete novices, attempting their 1st Mon, right through to senior members completing their Kyu Grades. The youngest participant was just five years old, with the eldest being a respectable 50.
What was really refreshing to see, were the female members nearly equalling the male members in numbers; which is unusual, as it is usually harder to keep females in the sport. Equally it can be hard to keep teenagers, and the numbers at the clubs are steadily growing, especially thanks to the Yellow Belt Challenge, run in participation with The Fighting Chance Project.
This encourages 11 to 25-year-olds to get their Yellow Belt, with various free incentives thrown in.
Also, the club coaches successfully achieved their grades. Cailean McCallum and Dave Henderson successfully gained their 1st Dan. This required them to compete against other 1st Kyu’s, and win their contests with maximum scores of 10 (Ippon score) per contest, having to reach 100 points to qualify. They then both had to pass a theory test for 1st Dan. Head coach Colin McCallum gained his 2nd Dan, again competing against other 1st Dan’s, and achieving 100 points, before a successful theory section.
Happidojo Marham have won numerous medals. Cailean McCallum and Neith Charlesworth both won bronze medals at the British Schools Championships, Zachary McCallum being selected on the England squad for Pre-Cadets.
Tae Charlesworth recently competed at the British Championships for minors (A Bands), and won bronze.
Cailean McCallum has been travelling all over the country competing at ranking championships, and is currently ranked 11th in England, for Cadets U73kgs.
For more details on the club, contact Colin McCallum on 07905278857 or www.happidojomarhamjudoclub.btck.co.uk or like on Facebook Happidojo, Marham.