John Clarke Promoted To 5th Dan Judo
35 year old Sittingbourne Man Judo Coach Judo Clarke was graded to 5th Dan (5th Degree Black Belt) Judo. John who is the 3rd generation of Clarke’s who have been leading the town in Judo. John was rather unique in his achievement in that his grade was a competitive grade not a theoretical one, 5th Dan is normally considered the last grade you can get for your competitive ability and competition record. John could have gone down the road of applying to the International Congress of the International Budo Federation for promotion based on his competition record something his Father Martin done when he was 30, but John chose the harder way because he did not want anyone accusing him of nepotism because his Father sits on the Congress.
To do the full exam had to produce his Competition CV plus proves his ability to Referee, Organise a competition, run a Judo Class for over a year, prove his theoretical knowledge and be examined on his ability to do Kata (sequence of preset moves) which were Nage No Kata (15 throws done right and left), Katame No Kata (sequence of groundwork techniques) Ju No Kata (sequence of movements demonstrating poise and balance) Go No Sen No Kata (sequence of counter throws) Goshin Jutsu Kata (sequence of self defence moves) it took 12 months for John to complete his grading. John was the first person in the UK to obtain a grade in this way, just to prove he wanted no favouritism. John has also had his grade confirmed by the Classical Martial Arts Society which is an International Examination Board with no connections to any Martial Arts Association and uses examiners from all over the world to assess candidates.
John had the choice of grading with the International Budo Federation or the British Judo Association he decided on the IBF because it was an international organisation and the exam was harder, he now intends taking a 5th Dan grading with the BJA before the end of the year, they concentrate mainly on a competitors fighting ability which is John strong point so hopefully that grade will be a formality. He carried on the proud tradition of Grandfather Nobby and his father Martin on be a great competitor but also understanding the Philosophy of Judo as a Martial Art as well as an Olympic Grappling Sport.
Those who wish to train with John can come along to the Swale Martial Arts Club on a Tuesday night at 8.30pm to contact John about Judo or Sombo tel 07825224940.