On Saturday, July 20, Port Elliot’s Darcy Cutten, 27, completed his black belt grading in National Karate Academies (NKA), Miranda Kai system in Adelaide.
Darcy started training in 2016 when he came along to a free come and try lesson.
Darcy, who has Down Syndrome, was welcomed into the Port Elliot dojo and the broader NKA family.
Darcy’s instructors, Sensei Colin Sherriff and Dai Sempai Danielle Toop, recalled when Darcy learned a new move/technique he would play his silent air guitar to celebrate his achievement.
“Soon after, it became a regular occurrence for the whole class to join in Darcy’s silent air guitar session to celebrate his achievements with him,” Colin said.
“Throughout his journey, Darcy has also learned many self-defence techniques and principles to help keep himself safe.
“In addition, Darcy has developed confidence and self-discipline and shows respect to his instructors and his peers including the many female students. Darcy has also made some great friends along the way and his instructors are very proud of his achievements and his dedication.”
Darcy’s regular training partner, John Burdett, 56, and John’s daughter, Grace, 16, also completed their black belt grading on Saturday, along with several others from the south coast, including students from the Victor Harbor and Goolwa dojos.
All south coast students showed a high standard of martial arts in the weekend’s grading.
While Darcy trains and grades in main stream classes and gradings, he was invited by Professor Steve Miranda (founder of the system), to give a demonstration at the ‘inclusive’ grading in Adelaide late last year.
Many of the junior and senior students at that grading were inspired by Darcy’s demonstration.
National Karate Academies has over 60 dojos around the country including Victor Harbor, Port Elliot, Goolwa, Strathalbyn, McLaren Vale, and Yankalilla.
The system also has dedicated ‘inclusive’ classes which run in Alberton, Henley Beach and Port Elliot.