Kyokushin karate-Shaun Pragassen promoted to 1st dan black belt


From left to right: Shihan Verghese, sempai Pragassen, shihan Phillip and shihan Françoise

Pragassen’s parents and fellow colleagues had turned up to witness the event last Saturday and encourage him on.
Seven other students who were attempting a higher Kyu rank also took part in the grading.

Shaun made history by becoming the youngest and first person in Seychelles to be graded by three Kyokushin Shihans. The grading session was conducted by local Kyokushin branch chief shihan Phillip Moustache (6th dan) with the help of shihans Francis Françoise and Phillip Verghese, both 5th dan, presiding as grading officers.

During the grading, the karatekas were required to demonstrate all the basic and advanced techniques of Kyokushin karate which include Ido Kihon (standing basics), Ido Geiko (moving basics), Renraku (combinations) and Kata (forms). They had to perform numerous strength and endurance exercises as part of the stamina assessment. The students were required to perform katas up to the grade they were attempting. 

Kumite (fighting) was undoubtedly the hardest part of the grading with the number of opponents varying according to the grade being attempted. For his Shodan grading, Pragassen had to fight 21 opponents with all the fights being conducted under the International Karate Organisation’s (IKO) full contact rules. The other students fought against not less than 10 opponents. They were cheered on by the large crowd who had turned up to witness the event.

All the members aptly demonstrated Kyokushin’ unique philosophy of the ‘Spirit of Osu’ which requires them to persevere beyond one’s limit and by the end of the fights, all six karatekas were still standing apart from a few bruises.

At the end of the grading, Shihan Moustache informed Pragassen that he had succeeded in his test and promoted him to the rank of 1st dan with the title of sempai. He now joins his mother Joeanne and brother Ryan who are both Kyokushin shodans.

Richard Athanasius Ah-Weng was promoted to 2nd kyu brown belt, while Luciano Mavunga and Susan Tan were promoted to 3rd kyu green belt. Ian Dingwall was promoted to 4th kyu green belt and Dean Athanase to 5th kyu yellow belt.

The gradings bring the number of Japanese-registered black belts in Seychelles to 65 – the highest number of Kyokushin black belt holders in the region.  

Congratulations to Shaun Pragassen on his promotion.  
Meanwhile, the Kyokushin karate school would like to inform members of the public in the Mont Fleuri and surrounding areas wishing to practice Kyokushin karate that training sessions are held on Fridays from 5pm to 6.30pm at the Mont Fleuri youth centre. Training sessions are conducted by shihan Francis Françoise 5th dan.

A special class for children is held every Saturday morning at the La Promenade Gymnasium (School Meals Centre) from 8.30am to 10am. Children wishing to join the school are asked to call at the La Promenade Gymnasium at the time indicated above.