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June 03 Shodan
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Marco and Darren Achieve Shodan!


10th July 2003 -- On the weekend of the 28th/29th of June 2003, Marco Cortese and Darren Tostevin joined other NAF Aikidoka from around the country at the NAF's main dojo, in Bristol, for this years shodan grading. Both candidates spent a lot of time preparing for the grading at the club, in their own time and by attending the monthly Dan Grade Preparation courses held in Bristol. 

The actual grading was held on the Saturday, in front of panel consisting of 5 senior grades and presided over by Sensei Mike Narey, Sensei Bernard Harding and Sensei George Forbes. Everybody had chosen an uke for the grading prior to the grading taking place, and each pair (Tori/Uke) was then called up two pairs at a time. The format of the grading had one partner as Tori for roughly 20 minutes, then their roles were reversed. All in all, each grading lasted about 40 minutes in total.


Marco took on the role of Tori first with Darren as Uke, and proceeded to give a very good demonstration of his Aikido. Unfortunately, due to problems with his back, Marco felt unable to take the role of uke for Darren, so Neil Jones "volunteered". Though Darren had an uke he was unfamiliar with, it didn't seem to worry him and again went on to give a enjoyable demonstration.

On the Sunday, the results of the grading were announced, with the happy news and great relief that both Darren and Marco achieved the shodan grade. So a big round of applause to both, and a big thank you from the Brighton Kai Shin Kai for representing the club so well.

In addition to giving a demonstration of their aikido, they were both required to write and submit an essay prior to the grading. Both of these essays can be found in our articles section.  

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