Shihan Graham welcomes you all back to training and wishes you an incredible 2017, he thanks everybody who sent their positive remarks regarding the improvements we’ve got coming up in our grading system this year and answers your questions as to why we have made changes to our grading system and how they will enhance your martial arts journey moving forward.

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Hi, everyone, it’s Shihan Graham here. I want to welcome you back to 2017. A huge thank you to everybody who sent their positive remarks regarding the improvements we’ve got coming up in our grading system this year. Like always, with any change or improvements, there’s always going to be some questions. So, first and foremost, why have I made the change? Why have we done that? Really at the end of the day, my focus is to make sure that we deliver a better result for our students. And with society nowadays, everyone seems to want things yesterday. They’re not going to want to hold people back from attaining their goals and their dreams and their passion, but I really want to make sure that we make an extra effort to make it special. Rather than just simply passing your grading, whatever that grading might be and go thumbs up, well done, especially for the higher ranks, I really want to emphasize it and instead make it a huge celebration.

Now, 2017 is going to be a transition year. And what I mean by that is, there are gonna be some of the higher ranks that are in between that cycle. Now, I’ve talked about having a celebration or a major grading for the higher ranks come September, around that October month. And the reason for that date, it’s… well, it’s gonna be the WAIMA birthday and also our first WAIMA ball. So it’s important that we have these gradings occur around that time so that we can celebrate everybody who’s going for that high rank. Whether it be black belt or beyond. Now, don’t get me wrong, all the green belts, all the brown belts are going to be celebrated as well too, but we’re going to make an extra special fuss around you guys who are achieving those black belts and beyond. Because, really at the end of the day, I want to make sure you build friendships and foundations that are going to last a lifetime.

So what happens if you’re somewhere in that cycle? What happens if you’re due for a black belt in March or June? Well, your class instructor or your instructor who manages your branch will really help build a plan so you don’t miss out. Going forward from this point, we really look to make sure that you stay on that steady track and we help you achieve those goals when you’re ready to. I’m sure you’ll have plenty more questions as the times arise. And really, the reason why I’m doing this is not to hold people back from achieving goals, but if anything, to celebrate and make more of a special bond and commitment to those guys who are riding together. To really help them move forward, and strengthen and develop friendships that will last a lifetime.

So if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to send them my way. I’m always happy to answer them, I’ll do my very best to explain. But we’ve always got your staff that are at your branches that are well and truly qualified to help you guys build a solid training plan so you guys don’t miss out. Well, at the end of the day, we’re here to serve you and help you be the best you can be and obviously help you achieve those goals as time goes on.

So, team, there’s a couple of things like I said I want talk about, one, any questions around the grading format. Number two, I kind of hinted to, we’re going to be having a massive celebration for kids and adults at our WAIMA ball around the October month. So stay tuned for all that exciting stuff. And there is going to be plenty more exciting things happening around the dojo’s, so don’t forget, keep your eyes open, check the newsletters, check everything, ask questions that’s why we are always here to serve and help you guys to be the best you can be.

So, again, thank you. Much respect and I look forward to seeing you guys training hard in class. Take care.