Jack’s in the black!

Martial arts: Jack Craig, nine, who has gained his black belt in taekwondo
Martial arts: Jack Craig, nine, who has gained his black belt in taekwondo

From the moment nine-year-old Jack Craig saw the art of taekwondo being demonstrated he was hooked.

Now, three years later, he is delighted to have gained his black belt and, in doing so, has become the first person at his Longridge club to have achieved the landmark.

The taekwondo enthusiast from Mardale Road, Longridge, joined the Longridge sports centre-based Northern Taekwondo Club just after it was started in the town by his coach Dave Keighley.

“My instructor Dave came into school and he showed us the basic kicks and punches and I thought it looked really interesting and I decided to join.

“I am a black belt now and I have a target to get a red belt,” said Jack.

The youngetsr not only attends the weekly sessions at the sports centre, but another class at Kirkham Grammar School.

“It is such good fun and you make a lot of friends doing it,” added Jack.

So keen is Jack, whose family proudly joined him in Blackpool for his black belt examination, judged by two masters and one grand master, he says he is now helping to teach fellow enthusiasts.

When he is older, Jack hopes to teach northern taekwondo full-time.

Describing him as “very keen and enthusiastic”, Dave said to achieve the black belt was “fantastic” for Jack.

He was also young to have got it.

“I am well chuffed for Jack and his family.

“Jack loves it and he is also a nice young lad.”

Dave runs the northern taekwondo classes at the sports centre every Wednesday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and they are open to all, adults and children alike.