Double grade success at Backwell

PUBLISHED: 14:40 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:07 22 July 2015

Backwell Karate Club.

Backwell Karate Club.


Two members of Nailsea & Backwell Karate Club both passed their dan grade exams.

Nailsea & Backwell Karate Club members Sam Henley and Dan Salter had a weekend to remember after both of them passed their dan grade exams in Bath.

Sam Henley, aged 12, passed his 1st Dan grading and is now able to wear the coveted black belt. And after passing his black belt in 2013, Dan Salter successfully qualified for the rank of 2nd Dan.

The grading was overseen by renowned karate pioneers Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan) and Sensei Billy Higgins (8th Dan), who made a special trip to assess karate practitioners from the South of England and Wales.

Sam’s black belt accolade caps off an excellent few months which has also seen him win a bronze medal at the KUGB Southern Region Championships.

From the moment that Sam joined Backwell Karate as an orange belt in 2011 he showed great potential, but it’s been the last six months that have seen him take big strides in his technique and huge improvements in kumite (sparring) which made him stand out from the crowd.

Dan became just the sixth 2nd Dan in Backwell Karate’s 38-year history, showing what a challenge it is to reach such a high standard. A valued member of the club, Dan’s kata in particular makes him stand out as a great technician, with excellent attention to detail.

Chief instructor at Backwell Karate, Tim Griffiths said: “Everyone at the club will be delighted to see the hard work and dedication of two more club members paying off. Both Sam and Dan turn up to most sessions and it’s by working hard like they have that you get rewards like this.

“The pass rate at black belt gradings is typically low. Despite that, Sam became the eighth club member in a row to pass their black belt exam and for Dan to be awarded his 2nd Dan grade at first time of asking is fantastic.”

Nailsea and Backwell Karate clubs are currently accepting new starters. For more information visit or

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