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Pro-Karate Academy teenagers Mary-Jane Disprey, Harry James and Albany Newton achieve black belts





Three Pro-Karate Academy students have joined an elite band after gaining black belts.

Mary-Jane Disprey, Harry James, both 14 and Albany Newton, 15, achieved their goal after years of training and a rigorous examination.

They are three of only 30 PKA members to have been awarded a black belt since the club, which runs across Hertfordshire, Essex and Surrey, was established 15 years ago.

Albany Newton, Mary-Jane Disprey and Harry James, fourth, fifth and seventh respectively from left to right, with the black belt panel members
Albany Newton, Mary-Jane Disprey and Harry James, fourth, fifth and seventh respectively from left to right, with the black belt panel members

The trio’s test at the Herts and Essex Sports Centre’s dojo, in Beldams Lane, began with a written exam.

That was followed by testing in basic moves, all instructed in Japanese, and a series of combined moves to test technique, power and speed.

Kata and pair techniques were then put to the test before their challenge culminated in 30 minutes of continuous fighting (kumite).

Sensei Chelsea Sydes led the grading examination as part of a panel of eight black belts, including current England team member Sensei Harry Marsden and former England and European champion Sensei Aimee Sell.

“I am so proud of Albany, Mary-Jane and Harry,” said Sydes. “They are committed to karate and have put in years of hard work, training and dedication.

“How long does it take the average person to become a black belt? The average person does not become a black belt.”

PKA runs multiple classes in Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Saffron Walden. Email pkaoffice@yahoo.com or call Sydes on 07545 583389 to find out more.



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