Senior martial artists earn new belts
A GROUP of senior tae-kwondo fighters are celebrating after graduating to new belt levels earlier this month,
The martial artists, all aged 50 and over, are part of the “gentle martial art” classes offered by grandmaster Bryan Whiley at Butterknowle Village Hall.
The 8th dan carried out the grading exam on July 12.
The class was started six years ago and has proved popular,
Mr Whiley said: “These classes are aimed at health and well-being, and also to provide social time where participants can meet with like-minded people.
“Five of the six who graded have shown full commitment for the six years of the class and were all promoted to red belt which is the seventh of eight levels to black belt.”
One of the students who has only just started training, this year, was promoted to yellow belt.
The grandmaster said: “I am proud of the students who have shown dedication, spirit and perseverance to attain this level.”
Three of the students are in their mid-seventies and admit that they get a great deal out of their martial art experience.
Mr Whiley, who is also in his seventies, said he loves teaching the class and urges anyone who may be looking for some direction and a beneficial activity after retirement to get in touch.
Classes take place on Friday mornings at Butterknowle Village Hall from 10am and last an hour.
The session ends with refreshments and a chat.
The class is recruiting new participants from September 6.