Pair pick up prestigious award

Tariq Malik and Ray Smith with their Master Grades belts. Picture by Keith Hartwell.
Tariq Malik and Ray Smith with their Master Grades belts. Picture by Keith Hartwell.
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Two members of a Harrogate martial arts club have joined an elite band by successfully achieving Master Grade level in Kong Sudo, a Korean form of karate.

Tariq Malik and Ray Smith, who have been training with Johnson’s Family Karate since the club started ten years ago, take the number of Kong Sudo 4th Dans in the UK to just 14.

To achieve this level, an individual has to be skilled in more than 30 forms – or katas; know in excess of 60 set self-defence techniques against an attacking partner, and demonstrate a high level of physical fitness.

During a gruelling grading session, overseen by chief instructor and 6th Dan, Master Tony Johnson, Ray and Tariq defended themselves against armed and unarmed attackers, broke wooden boards with their fists, performed a number of complicated forms and spared against one, two and three opponents at a time.

Johnson’s Family Karate senior instructor and 5th Dan, Master Janet McKenna, said: “Reaching Master Grade is by no means easy. It takes a great deal of skill, commitment and mental and physical fitness.

“In addition to training at least three times a week, the pair are accomplished instructors in their own right who are well liked and respected by their peers.”

Further details about Johnson Family Karate classes are available by contacting Janet McKenna on 0113 815 1192 or by visiting www.johnsonskarate.com