Students from Ilkley Karate Club had plenty to celebrate at the recent record breaking grading examinations held at the Ben Rhydding Methodist Church in Ilkley.

Thirtysix students young and old (22 children and 14 adults) were graded by Sensei Stan Knighton (8th Dan) who travels from Sheffield to grade the Ilkley students. Sensei Knighton is one of highest ranked karate-ka in theUK, and a pass mark awarded by him is one well respected in the karate world.

Club instructor Mark Outterside (5th dan) feels that his students receive a less biased and objective pass mark by getting the top man to assess his students he also feels that he gets the best out of his students.

The examiner was highly impressed with everyone's performance as the standard set was very high especially when most of the children were under 12 years of age.

Mark singled out the performances of Emily Kerr (8), Calum Kerr (10), Mel Abraham (11) and adults Claire Harris, Chris Harris and Andy Stakes. Recent new starters Tom Hewitt (6), Ross Tabel (7), Jack Wilkinson (7), Michael Quinn (7), Sam Melville (9), Mel Abraham (11), Paris Lord Griffiths (11) Joshua Hubberstey (12) and adults Nick Hewitt, Fabio Iannelli, Tim Roylance and Barry Hall all passed the grade of 9th kyu red belt.

Joe Dawkins (11), Ivan Horoshenkov (7), Liam Portz (7), Emily Voss-Bevan (9) together with adults Dale Bunton, Wayne Bunton, Patrick Walton and Adrian Mills passed to the grade of 8th kyu yellow belt.

Passing the grade of orange belt were Omar Shah 6) and Claire Harris. Claire scored the highest mark for the adults on the night.

James Hennessey (7), Abigail Craig, Rachel Hamilton (11), Max Taylor (7) and adults Martia Thain and Kristie Steaks all passed the grade of green belt with some goods marks.

Simon Burr (9) and adult Andy Steaks passed the grade of 5th Kyu blue belt.

Eight year old Emily Kerr was in impressive form on the night. Emily was due to take her purple belt, however her marks were so impressive that she skipped to the next belt which now makes her a senior grade brown belt.

Emily's mother Johanne also achieved the result for the very same belt only a couple of months ago.

Frankie Johnston (11) passed the grade on 2nd kyu brown belt, while Calum Kerr passed the grade of 1st kyu brown belt. Ten year old Calum is now on course to take his black belt later this year which is an amazing achievement as he only started karate just over two years ago.

The Grading Examiner Sensei Knighton who is an 8th degree black belt commented on the outstanding performance of eight year old Emily Kerr who managed to skip a grade with almost perfect scores and her brother Calum who once again passed with outstanding marks for the sixth consecutive time.

Trophies were presented to high scorers of the night. The top awards went to Emily and Calum Kerr while Claire Harris scored the highest marks for the adults.

The club is now looking forward to the forthcoming Wharfedale Children's Karate Championships and are hoping to repeat last years trophy haul.

The Ilkley Karate Club is one of the top individual karate clubs in Yorkshire and is longest running martial art club in Ilkley.