A young Lake District karate expert has ensured that the sport finishes 2021 on a high in the region after achieving one the sport's toughest grades.

Connor Newhouse, 17, from Kendal, underwent rigorous assessment to be awarded the grade of 1st Dan Black Belt.

Connor, who is also a keen rugby player, is a member of Kendal Chojinkai Karate, and achieved the sought-after status on 12 December after a gruelling three hours of training and grading under the watchful eye of Chojinkai founder Doug James, 8th Dan black belt, Darren Longstaff 6th Dan and Mark Heaton 5th Dan.

Chris Greenbank, one of the Kendal club instructors said "Connor has shown the true spirit of a black belt karateka (practitioner of karate) over the past few months and his dedication was exceptional and he should be extremely proud of his achievements - we all are.

"He is a true role model to the younger students in the club."

Connor began practicing Karate with Kendal Chojinkai around 10 years ago, and Chris said:

"The grading tested his knowledge of traditional karate, including kata which was shown for the first time at the last olympics in Tokyo.

"He also demonstrated practical application of karate that can be used in a self defence situation."

Chojinkai Karate (pronounced Cho-jin-Kai) is the name of the Wado-Ryu based style of karate founded in 1974 by President & Chief Instructor Doug James.

The Chojinkai Association, have around 300 students throughout Cumbria and the Borders, and operate from bases in Kendal, Carlisle, Warwick Bridge, Yewdale, Brampton, Wigton and Haltwhistle.

Kendal Chojinkai Karate was founded in 1982 and, along with the other Chojinkai clubs, is a full member of the English Karate Federation and is led by a team of both female and male instructors, offering training in both traditional and sport based karate.

Kendal Chojinkai Karate returns to training on 4 January and is based in the Queen Katherine School Gym, with classes on Tuesday and Friday evenings for ages 4 to adults.

Find out how to take part at www.kendalchojinkai.co.uk