Tuesday 14th December 2010 by C. Freeman
Brothers Max and Tom Freeman have just been awarded their black belts in karate after five years of training. Max, who is in Year 9 and Tom, who is two years younger, were among the successful students presented with their belts by Sensei Gursharan Sahota of TISKA (Traditional International Shotokan Karate Association) at a ceremony in Bedford where those who had achieved 1st Dan status and above received belts and commemorative certificates.
The boys, who attend the Market Harborough club, had extra training at Oakham, Oadby and Enderby in the run-up to their grading in October which comprised a written exam and practical session where they had to demonstrate kihon (basics), katas (series of set moves) and kumite (sparring techniques). Their dad, who was awarded his black belt last year, also spent hours helping them practice.
Tom said: ‘Getting my black belt was hard work. It has given me more confidence. At the club everyone is friendly and I like doing the kicks, especially ushiro mawashi geri, a reverse roundhouse kick.’
Max said: ‘Now we’re at black belt it is really interesting learning all the new katas and kumites that we need to get up to the next grade.’
They are now working towards their second Dan which will take at least two years and are learning how to use the bo and jo, two wooden martial arts staffs with Max, who is taller, having the 6ft Bo while Tom uses its 4ft equivalent.