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Pair of Chalkstone Karate Club instructors pass exam to receive their 3rd Dan black belts

Two instructors from Chalkstone Karate Club were both successful in passing their recent exam to receive their 3rd Dan black belts.

Lee McCormack and Darran Kerry, who are both assistant instructors at the club, had to demonstrate hundreds of moves during a gruelling exam at Chalkstone Community Centre.

The pair also had to perform Kata, a complex sequence of moves in a pre-set sequence, as well as show their fighting and self-defence abilities under the watchful eye of Toyakwai Karate Association chief instructor Joe Anderson Sensei, who is a 9th Dan black belt.

Chalkstone Karate Club instructors Lee McCormack (left) and Darran Kerry (right) with Joe Anderson Sensei (centre)
Chalkstone Karate Club instructors Lee McCormack (left) and Darran Kerry (right) with Joe Anderson Sensei (centre)

Chalkstone’s chief instructor Steve Hart said: “I am tremendously proud of their achievements and the dedicated hard work it has taken both of them to get there.

“They both passed their last exam in 2015 and things have been challenging the last few years with Covid and other bits and pieces going on in their own lives.

“I’ve been actively encouraging them to make that next step for some time and obviously it is a hard job to do.

“They were both very worn out afterwards. It’s such a physically demanding thing and it’s not only a test of your fitness and your stamina, it’s an all round thing.”

McCormack took up karate back in 2001 and has competed at both local and national level.

After taking a break from the sport for six years, he returned to karate and joined Chalkstone in 2013.

Kerry started out at Sawston in 2005 and, after the club closed in 2014, found a new home at Chalkstone.

The pair join fellow Chalkstone instructor Gary Dadds as a 3rd Dan black belt, while Hart achieved his 5th Dan black belt earlier this year.

“It wouldn’t be possible to run the club the way we do without their help,” Hart said.

“Lee and Darran passing the exam was well deserved and it’s a good thing for the membership at the club to see that the instructors keep pushing forward. The higher up you go the less people are able to do it.”

For more information about Chalkstone Karate Club please visit www.chalkstonekarateclub.co.uk