Laila aiming for a Black Belt


Year 9 pupil, Laila Shinner, has been crescent kicking her way through the belts in karate for the past five years, recently progressing to brown and double white, 1st kyu – just one level down from her black belt.

Laila started training with Zanshin Shotokan karate club in October 2012. She trains three times a week but this rises to 4 times a week in the weeks leading up to a grading.

Laila’s father, Kenny, explained the process, “A sensei (examiner) comes from England several times a year and assesses students under very strict exam conditions. Laila is classed as a senior due to the level she is at as opposed to age! Ages range from 4 years to adults, there is no age limit.”

“She performs several kata’s as an individual and then is required to do kumite (fighting) with another student. The sensei then has to decide whether or not the student is ready to progress to the next level. “

The next grading Laila will participate in will be her black belt 1st dan. This takes longer to prepare for and so will grade in August!  Hopefully returning to school in September as a black belt!

They are presented with their very own samurai sword which she gets to keep! It’s a huge accomplishment for anyone to get this far and Laila’s family told us they were “extremely proud!” 

We at Dunluce are as well.  Well done Laila!