Three members of Grantham Shotokan Karate Club were promoted to black belt last weekend.
The grading examination was held by the British Karate Association in Manchester under the watchful eye of BKA chairman Brian Seabright (7th Dan).
The trio undertook a physically and mentally demanding exam in which they had to demonstrate basic and combinations of technique (kihon), set patterns (kata), sparring drills, reaction traing and “free” sparring against an opponent (kumite).
Former judo exponent John Winter only took up karate aged 69 and has trained three times a week for six years to attain black belt status.
Seventy-five-year-old John, of Long Bennington, said he took up the martial art to keep his mind and body active: “Age is irrelevant if you have a positive and young outlook.”
At the opposite end of the age spectrum, 11-year-old Edward Dixon was the fourth member of his family to be awarded the coveted black belt. His father is club chief instructor Geoff (5th Dan) and mother Elizabeth and sister Jennifer became black belts three years ago.
Elizabeth said that karate was something the whole family enjoyed: “I suppose it is quite rare to have an entire family of black belts.
“We are very proud of Edward, he has been working really hard to prepare for this grading.”
The third black belt of the weekend was achieved by Carole Hobster, achieving her ambition 30 years later than planned.
Carole originally trained with husband Glen in Nottingham during the 1970s and achieved the grade of 1st Kyu – one step from black belt.
Family commitments curtailed her martial arts activities for three decades until she resumed training with her daughter, Rachael, as a white belt in 2008.
l Grantham Shotokan Karate Club training is at Bottesford VC Hall and Allington village hall on Tuesday and Sunday evenings respectively, as well as The Meres leisure centre on Saturday mornings. For more details e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.grantham-shotokan.moonfruit.co.uk/