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Black belt honour for karate boys

Junior masters-in waiting make the grade at 10

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Black belt honour for karate boys

KARATE boys Josh Chalmers-Wells and James Smith have worked their way up to black belt status - the age of 10.

The Newbury duo achieved their status at the Tiska Shotokan Karate Association’s grading in Northampton on Sunday, after taking up the sport at the age of five.

James, from Speen and Josh, who lives in a craft the Kennet and Avon Canal, attend Robert Sandilands School, but away from their studies undertake the additional learning and training that brought them their black stripes.

Josh’s mother Lucy said: “They are very committed and are really hard working, training twice a week and doing a lot of home work as well. There are a lot of proud people.”

Their twice weekly training sessions culminated in up to five hours of work in Sunday’s grading, involving detailed katas - training moves and patterns - as well as sparring abnd knowledge of technical terms.

“They have been involved with karate for five years,” said Josh’s mother, “and this is their first really big event, although they have been taking part in southern and northern region competitions and are now working towards their second dan, which could take two and a half to three years.”

Pictured, Josh Chalmers-Wells (left) and James Smith

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