Black belt grading December 2009

Saturday December 12th - Dan grading

Christmas came early for High School teacher Gillian Ogilvie. Having started 2009 with the birth of her son, Gillian ended the year by finally achieving 1st dan status after completing an enduring dan grading. Gillian has been training at the waid club in anstruther for 5 years and has overcome a few obstacles on her way to getting her black belt. An ankle injury sustained during a competition was the first set back to gillian, then maternity leave kept her on the sidelines as she prepared for her and husband john's first child. She made her long awaited return to training 3 months after the birth of her baby boy, Arran. Having sat through other students dan gradings Gillian knew it would tough and had to work on her fitness to get into shape. She put in the extra training sessions at leven,cupar and glenrothes to prepare her for the big day.

Gillian's hard work climaxed with a focused perfomance on the day and I dont think there was any doubt that her hard work had earned her a pass. She suffered a couple of heavy blows and sweeps during sparring but showed the character to get back up and not let her head go down.

Gillian's instructor Steve Mackay 3rd dan, was delighted at the result and it was a celebration for him in terms of Gillian becoming his first black belt student. Asked about how he felt the grading went he replied - "Gillian has always had the potential to reach dan grade level. she has trained so hard at the club for years and deserved to pass.I felt that she was on the back foot during sparring and that would maybe cost her but she kept getting up and having a go and you cant buy that kind of spirit! I was so surprised at her fitness too.she'd clearly taken on board all advice given to her about stamina. I knew she'd be up against it. it's never easy for the ladies who are often up against the men during gradings but Gillian can give a good punch and kick and she has taken her fair share in the past! Gillian is my longest serving student and it's fitting that she is my first to reach 1st dan"

Gillian celebrated the result in front of an army of family,friends, her husband John, son Arran and when asked about how she felt, I think the tears of joy said it all!


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