FROM four-year-old rookies to world championship contenders – that’s the remarkable progress made in recent years by members of Lesmahagow’s Kihonkai Karate Academy.
No fewer than 11 club stalwarts gained black belt promotions at an action-packed day of grading at Lesmahagow High School.
The club’s chief instructor Stevie Mason (45) said: “The club members are doing really well.
“Some of them started here when they were just four years old and they’ve progressed so far that they’re going to compete at next year’s World Championships in Tokyo.
“We got two golds and a silver at the last World Championships in Denmark last October and I’m confident that we can do well again.”
The black belt grading saw Kihonkai members train for four hours before doing their exams, which Stevie said had been “a big undertaking”.
“The training is the tough part and the examining is under really strict Japanese rules,” Stevie added.
“It was fantastic for the Academy that so many of our students passed their black belt examinations. It was a wonderful achievement.”
For details of the individual successes, pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette.