On Wednesday 16th April 2008 in front of a panel of Tony Bunting Sensei (5th Dan) and Malcolm Phipps Sensei (7th Dan), Adam Sensei took the exam for Yondan (4th Dan). Adam had to perform the kata Meikyo and then demonstrate its Bunkai, against a team of Blackbelts, the kata being chosen 3 months previously by the grading panel. Adam also wrote a mini thesis on the history, performance and bunkai of the kata. Following the kata performance and Bunkai, Adam had to teach a 1.5 hour senior grade lesson based on a thesis that he was also required to complete. The title of thesis was “The Impact of Competition Karate on Modern Shotokan”, and the lesson followed this theme concentrating mainly on two Juyi Ippon techniques and breaking each one down concentrating on variety of technique, targeting, distance, hikite and impact, showing the difference between competition kumite and kumite orientated towards self defence. The lesson also touched upon competitions impact on kata and the erosion of bunkai in Shotokan.
Afer 2 hours of performance and teaching, the panel announced that Adam had passed 4th Dan and commented on the high standard of the grading. Copies of the thesis can be found here.