Promotions held at Garner's Karate

Promotions held at Garner’s Karate

CARLINVILLE (Feb. 8, 2018) – On a cold Saturday morning in December, Garner’s Premier Karate held their first color belt test at the new facility within the Carlinville American Legion Hall.

One student had already tested early due to family travel plans. Three other students braved the cold and reported in to test on that Saturday. For one student, it was a particularly special test; she would be testing for her final level of color belt, First Gup (red belt with two stripes).

All three students demonstrated the customary material for testing: basic hand and foot techniques, forms, move combinations, one-step block/counter and self-defense partner drills, the test concluded with sparring matches and an oral exam.

After grading was completed and scores compiled, two of the students were found to not have enough points for promotion. Of those two, one underwent the customary two week retest option to make improvements and earn enough points in class for promotion.

“Testing is always voluntary,” said James Garner, owner and chief instructor of GPK. “It is a decision made by parent and student– no one is made to test. The parent has to sign off on the testing application. In fact, two other students were eligible for testing but opted out to take more time to improve a few areas prior to taking their next test. I would rather a student take their time or decide not to test than rush through, be unprepared and test anyways only to struggle.”

Garner continued, “We don’t hand rank out like candy here. We are not a ‘No matter what students pass’ kind of school. Students must actually earn them. Some do fail tests, and that’s OK as long as they keep driving on and doesn’t become a quitter. I especially want to point out the student who tested early as well as my senor color belt testing–they did an amazing job!”

Promotions were held Jan. 9. Students receiving promotions had their names called, one at a time, having their certificate read aloud by the assistant instructor as Garner tied on their new belt or applied their new stripe. The certificate of promotion is ceremoniously passed to the student who is the congratulated by applause. This is a proud moment for the instructors to promote students, presenting a well-deserved promotion to a student who has earned it is one of the best parts of teaching martial arts to children. After promotions parents are thanked and students and instructors pose for pictures with proud, smiling faces showing new certificates.

Garner was asked if/when students who have left for whatever reason; is that person able to just pick up from where he or she left off? “Absolutely,” Garner stated. “Now, the student might have to take some time to clean the rust off and get back into the swing of things. Depending on how long it’s been and what level or skill they were at, it may be awhile before they will be ready test again. But, it’s been my experience, with few exceptions; they jump right back in with few difficulties. Depending on how long they were gone, they will most likely have to test to get re-certified. We always welcome back returning students. People have to leave for a variety of reasons, its common with martial arts training. We want to help people succeed and reach their goals–not just in karate but in all things.”

The Carlinville Police Department will be putting on a Free Women’s Self-Defense Class on Sunday, 25 February at the Carlinville American Legion, hosted by Garner’s Premier Karate. To sign up for this event, please contact Carlinville Police Department.

Garner’s Premier Karate promotion exercises were held Jan. 9. Shown, from left, are assistant instructor Jo Kyo Sa James Gotcher, Joey Phillips, Gibbs Gilliland, Laci Schuckenbrock, and owner/Chief Instructor James Garner.