Press Release:-The Saint Lucia Shotokan Karate Association (SLSKA) which is headquarted at the Kavala Taj Dojo on Rodney Bay, located at the Harmony Suites, held its 52nd Grading Exercise on Friday, March 31 at the Sportivo Fitness Centre, Rodney Heights, in Gros Islet.
This exercise conducted under the auspices of the International Karate Daigaku (IKD) with Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon A Tai (9th Dan), Chairman and Chief Instructor of the IKD as the examiner. Master Woon A Tai, who is on his Annual Caribbean Standardization Tour is no stranger to Saint Lucia as he has visited several times before.
This tour of duty spans from Suriname in the south to Jamaica in the north and includes ten IKD affiliated countries in the Caribbean. He was hosted from Wednesday, March 29 to Saturday, April 1.
The SLSKA was also honored to host Sensei David Clarke, 6th Dan, IKD President from Tuesday, March 28th to Thursday, March 30th. Sensei Clarke conducted two classes, one black and brown belt session on the Tuesday and an all grades session on Wednesday.
Master Woon A Tai and Sensei Clarke along with SLSKA Chief Instructor, Sensei Patrick Edward and Sensei Jerome Girard paid a courtesy call on the Venezuelan Ambassador to Saint Lucia, Her Excellency Leiff Escalona on Friday, March 31. The ambassador expressed her pleasure in hosting the delegation. Discussions were centered around the development of IKD and the setting up of linkages with affiliates in Venezuela and Saint Lucia.
The SLSKA subsequent to this activity is forging ahead to strengthen and expand its membership. Apart from continuing to intensify its training at all levels, with special emphasis on Instructor training, it will also focus on increasing its participation in regional and international programmers of the IKD and the Caribbean Karate College (CKC).
The 52nd Grading Exercise brought special significance to the leadership of the organization as eight members were awarded higher ranks from Shodan (1st degree black belt) to Sandan (3rd degree black belt).
The promotion of Dr. Thomas Samuel & Joshua Duncan to the rank of Shodan, brings a total of forty-six (46) members over the years who have attained black belt level.
Spud Montoute, Randall Bain, Krystal Ramkhelawan & Pradeep Mahtani became inclusive of fourteen (14) members who have attended the rank of Nidan and Jerome Girard & Lizana Ramkhelawan joined five other members to have attained the rank of Sandan.
Other outstanding performances came from:
Brenda Huskinson, Norman & Alexander Johnson promoted from 10 kyu white belt – 7 kyu orange belt
Leiff Escalona from 10 kyu together with Daquan Alfred, Jude Philip & Domingo Ramos form 8 Kyu yellow – 6 kyu green belt.
Aquilah Smith from 6 kyu green – 4 kyu purple belt.
The SLSKA is also committing to assisting in the drive to develop karate practice nationally. That is in keeping with the new opportunity presented with the inclusion of karate in the 2020 Olympic Games. A pursuit which it believes must be a national effort to ensure that this venture materializes.