March greeting to you all S.O.U.L. family and a big welcome to our abundance of new members! It is lovely to see new faces joining in and taking part.
This is my favourite time of year with longer evenings and a slow, gradual rise in temperatures. It is day-light now when the Wednesday session at QE (Wimborne) starts and before long we will be finishing in the light too. Happy days, goodbye Winter!
Firstly, what a fantastic grading on Saturday! We all arrived at Ferndown before 9am and I was amazed at how many white belts were up for their first exam. So many so that Ma’am had to separate everyone into two groups.
The etiquette was great, and the effort was top notch with some of the graders having previous experience in other martial arts it was a real pleasure to watch.
There was a couple red belts with the second white belt group. Then a big group of yellow belts up next (and one orange) and this group made a fantastic job of working through their drills and combinations. Light contact/hands only sparring always makes me laugh because it invariably turns into a dust up which is great for everyone watching.
Greens and purple belts are really where things start to take on a serious note. By green belt we are entering into the higher grades and the standard displayed by our kickboxers was top notch. My son Josh took his purple and I’m so happy that he passed...on to blue now Young Whild!
I was up next with the brown belts and the only brown belt white stripe. There were four of us in total and I was incredibly nervous before the start knowing full well that these belts are ‘mock exams’ designed to prepare for black.
Sure enough the grading was a tough one. I love sparring, it’s one of my favourite parts of kickboxing but I wouldn’t regard myself as a ‘fighter’. I love the exchange of skill and the opportunity to push myself in an environment beyond my full control.
I felt like I had to ‘fight’ this time because I was so exhausted before I even got my sparring gear on. As any seasoned kickboxer will tell you, once you are in the lactate threshold/max of your capacity the first thing to go is your ability to dodge punches/kicks, and I wound up eating a lot of them.
I passed my grading with a B which I’m happy with and a huge congratulations to Charley Mack (the brown belt white stripe) who received a well earned credit pass!
Thank you to everyone who attended to support and to the Black Belts that gave up their time to assist. I thought Mrs Rich did a great job of calling out for her first grading group too.
It’s now time to settle into a new season of training with a new syllabus and plenty to look forward to. Coming up we have Friday Night Fighter Training on the 15th...Mrs Mayne needs at least 10 people to sign up for this so please put your name down (and pay) if you want to attend!
Another event I’m very happy about is the one to one training sessions that Ma’am is hosting in April. Considering how popular this has turned out to be its very likely that there will be more to come in the future (hopefully!) and this session is being held in Tarrant Keyneston Hall.
On a final and very important note, its only 3 months until the next black belt grading! My eldest son, Mr Whild, and Mr Baker will be taking their 2nd degree exams. Mrs Mayne herself is finally taking her 5th degree which is an astonishing accomplishment after so many years of dedication to kickboxing. Good luck to anyone who is partnered up with Ma’am for sparring as her abilities are said to be borderline supernatural 😁
That’s all for now so good luck with your training and I’ll see you in class!
Tim Whild 🥊