Kickboxing duo among youngest to gain black belts

The young black belts with their coaches
The young black belts with their coaches

Two boys who train with the Chichester ZDL Martial Arts Academy are among the youngest to achieve their black belts in kickboxing.

Ten-year-old Jack Warner and eight-year-old Milo Craig both gained their black belts with high merits after a gruelling four-hour grading.

It’s been a privilege to see these two young boys grow in confidence and become skilful martial artists.

Ed Craig

The boys had to do 75 press-ups, 75 squat thrust burpees, 75 star jumps, 75 crunches and 75 standing squats. They then completed hundreds of kicks ranging from basic kicks to jumping spinning combination kicks, a series of punches including multiple attack and defensive hand work, pad work and five rounds of sparring.

At the end of the grading, the boys also had to break a special martial arts tile with Craig breaking one and Warner two.

The pair now join the elite black belt section of the Zheng Dao Lo Martial Arts Academy which has seen British, European and world champions within its ranks in disciplines including kickboxing, kung fu and tai chi.

Their ZDL instructor, Ed Craig, a third-degree black belt in kickboxing and a first degree black belt in traditional kung fu, trained under the renowned Master Omar El-Kilany for more than 18 years.

Ed said: “It’s always fantastic to see such young students complete amazing tasks of fitness, endurance and techniques that most fully fit adults would find very difficult to complete.

“It’s been a privilege to see these two young boys grow in confidence and become skilful martial artists. They also helped raised money recently for ZDL Chichester’s 1000 Kick Superhero Sport Relief Challenge when more than £500 was raised.”

ZDL Chichester train throughout the year at Westgate Leisure Centre. Further information can be found at www.facebook.com/kickboxingzdlchichester