Top Tae Kwon-Do black belt Daniel is one of youngest in the world

Daniel Pearce proudly shows off his fifth degree black belt.
Daniel Pearce proudly shows off his fifth degree black belt.

A talented Grantham Tae Kwon-Do exponent has become one of the youngest fifth degree black belts in the world.

Twenty-nine-year-old Daniel Pearce was examined at Friday’s grading promotion in Bristol, where he faced a panel of eighth degree masters at the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain Academy.

He had to impress the five-strong panel with a gruelling set of tests, including fighting skills, self-defence techniques, shadow-sparring skills, and power and accuracy tests. Daniel also faced a verbal examination of his knowledge and experience of the martial art.

Daniel, who trains at The King’s School club in Grantham, received his results on Monday after an anxious weekend of waiting. But the good news made all the hard work worthwhile.

Daniel said: “The last few weeks have been quite nervy actually. I’ve got a couple of days off and then I am back into competition.”

He started training in September 1990 and achieved his first degree black belt seven years later. His last upgrade to fourth degree was reached in 2007. Daniel’s fifth degree black belt marks the pinnacle of physical ability in Tae Kwon-Do. Sixth, seventh and eighth degree black belts are honorary awards given for what the exponent puts back into his martial art.

Prior to the fifth degree black belt grading, Daniel was training twice a day, seven days a week, and was therefore well up for the ultimate test.

He said: “People who don’t prepare properly would be nervous. It is hard to stay on top form the entire time. You need to train to peak, similar to how a boxer would.”

Throughout the years he has participated in national, European and world championships, starting as a junior competitor and now as an adult alongside some of the most talented practitioners in the world.

His short term plans are to compete in the North London Championships in Hemel Hempstead this month and the prestigious TAGB British Championships in Coventry in November.

As well as training with seventh degree black belt Malcolm Scholes in Grantham, Daniel teaches at his own Tae Kwon-Do school in Newark.