British Judo National Dan gradings continue to go from strength to strength, with the next National Dan Grading due to be held at Dartford Judo Club in the Southern Area on March 13th 2022.

Entries are allowed on the day but it is preferable for judoka to prebook – on line

This event will be the penultimate National Dan Grading run under the dispensation rules approved by the BJA Board to help British Judo Association members recover from all the lockdown restrictions. The first 3 National Dan Gradings attracted 100 judoka at High Wycombe, 62 at York and another 105 judoka at the High Wycombe Grading held on 5thFebruary 2022.

The most recent National Dan Grading was held at Samurai Judo Club in the Midlands last weekend and was a considerable success. Samurai had already held a women’s grading last autumn with 21 judoka, this time for male only it attracted 62 men of all grades from 1st kyu to 4th Dan. Under the current “covid catch-up” rules, nearly all players were given a minimum of five contests.

In the 1st kyu section, there were Dan grades awarded to Iain Sinclair (Just Judo), Andrew Kennard (Dartford), James Harrison (Samurai), Matt Evans (Bushido) and Nathan Salkeld (Winchester). Also Declan Knight (Kin Ryu) and Nathan Berrecloth (Dowty) will get their grades as soon as they complete their technical skills assessment (theory).

In the 1st Dan section, Geoffrey Smith (Warwick University) gained his 2nd Dan. James Smith (Yate Star), who was outstanding, completed his contest requirements and will gain his 2nd Dan as soon as he reaches the age of 17 and completes his technical skills assessment.

In the 2nd Dans, the two outstanding players were Jagjit Khera (Lions Judo) and Joey Murphy (Samurai), who both completed their contest requirements for 3rd Dan and just need to complete their technical skills assessments. International referee Archi Shrimpton (Samurai) was also doing well, gaining another 30 points and resisting the urge to tell the referees off …

In the 3rd Dans, nobody gained 4th Dan but Matthew Sexton (Warwick University) came agonizingly close, ending on 95 points and winning four of his six contests, he just needed one more win to complete the 100. It was also great to see Frank Boardman (Japan Arts Centre) still going strong at the age of 65, he had four contests and gained more points towards his 4th Dan.

In the 4th Dans, one player stood out. Andrew Malone (Hibari Kan) won five contests out of five and was promoted to 5th Dan. His performance and skill were exceptional. He gained his 5th dan in the same town where his father Neil gained his 5th Dan in 1999 at the Samurai Senior High Grades. Like father, like son …