Marlow eight-year-old wins first Dan

Bucks Free Press: Raife Foulkes Raife Foulkes

A MARLOW eight-year-old has set a new UK record for becoming the youngest Shotokan Karate black belt in the country.

Raife Foulkes was awarded his first Dan after just four years in karate.

Chief instructor as his club in Marlow Sensei Gursharan Sahota, said: “Raife has really good grading at his level and could even teach a class for adults.

“He has worked really hard for it and had learned a lot about self-discipline and self-respect – you would be amazed see him.”

But the youngster had extra incentive to learn his art quickly – beating his older brother to the belt.

Rees Foulkes is now 12 but was made a black belt at the age of ten, while their 11-year-old sister Fabrianne is expecting to get hers in May.

It’s quite a family of karate kids, but dad Adrian believes his children are getting far more out of the sport than the colour of their belts.

He said: “As a family we think karate gives our children discipline and teaches them above all about respect.

“You don’t achieve anything unless you put a lot of effort in and at the end you get something back.

“I think it is an invigorating sport that teaches our children about respecting themselves and respecting others, so it’s much more than about keeping them fit.

“I do believe the values karate teaches will help youngsters in life.”

The family began training at the Traditional International Shotokan Karate Association and also go to karate clubs in Chalfont St Peter and Beaconsfield.

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