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KARATE: Holbeach twins tie up black belts


By Keith Drayton


Twin karate champions Santiago and Cristiano Santos have secured black belts at their latest gradings.

The Holbeach ten-year-olds, who both hold UK titles, were awarded their first dan black belts (Sho Dan) after gradings with the Fighting Spirit Club at Holbeach community centre.

Proud dad Victor, who is also chief instructor at the club, revealed the dedicated boys had completed no less than 1,174 hours of training – between five and seven hours each week – to pass the grading, which was held in front of around 50 spectators.

The black belt boys.
The black belt boys.

Victor, an ASAI UK examiner, carried out the grading, which was watched by guest 4th Dan Kukkiwon, Van Dunem Da Costa, from Leeds, and the Fighting Spirit Club’s Sempai, Ronald Quesnel.

Santiago is 2018 UK champion and was third in the European championships. His brother is a UK champion in team kata.

Successful Fighting Spirit Club youngsters at their gradings (11855707)
Successful Fighting Spirit Club youngsters at their gradings (11855707)

The two boys also successfully completed their instructors junior assistant courses, receiving certificates, which enable them to train other youngsters up to the age of 12.

The course included: Shotokan history and philosophy; first aid; human anatomy; learning 50 command words in Japanese; attending seminars on anti-bullying and self-defence for children; and learning how to prepare a class. It took three years to complete.

Cristiano (left) and santiago Santos after their black belt gradings (11855704)
Cristiano (left) and santiago Santos after their black belt gradings (11855704)

Santiago and Cristiano weren’t the only youngsters in the spotlight at the grading.

Eight juniors (LTKs) aged from 4-8 were promoted to their next rank level.

Victor congratulated Sempai LTK Scott Dennis and students Charles Dunne, Freya Tatam, Lewis Tatam, Alfie Parker, Zayan, Vivan and Diya on their successes.

  • Fighting Spirit Club meets on Thursdays from 3.30pm-6.30pm at Holbeach community centre and 4.30pm-6.30pm on Mondays at Gedney Dyke village hall. Sessions will start at Weston shortly.
  • To find out more about the club and shotokan karate, call Victor on 07549 216204.


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