THE karate team at The Combat Academy in Hereford made history by being crowned the first ever English Contact Karate Associations (ECKA) Cup champions.

The 16-strong team blasted their way through some impressive rounds at the Coventry competition to collect nine gold, seven silver and seven bronze awards, putting them at the top of the table above much larger cities, such as Milton Keynes, Bristol and Coventry.

Combat Academy coach Simon Small said: “This is a huge achievement for us, we are a small club in comparison to some within the ECKA, but we do have a very hungry and competitive competition team.

"We train and work like one big family, so together work towards our goals.

"We set out with the aim of winning this award and succeeded.

"I am extremely proud of everyone of my students that represented Hereford and the Combat Academy at these championships.

"We will aim to take the top spot at the National Championships too, later in the year."

Results: First – Ryan Hill (adult 1st kyu - black free form), Craig Huttel (boys 5ft semi contact beginner, green), Robbie Hearn (cadets open weight semi contact beginner, green), Ryan Hill (cadets 65kg semi contact, purple-black), Chelle Banes (women's 60kg semi contact beginner, purple), Kay Parker (women's 60kg+ semi contact open grade), Craig Huttel (boys 5ft light continuous beginner, green), Chelle Banes (women's 60kg light continuous beginner, purple), Kay Parker (women's over 35 open grade continuous); Second: Chelle Banes (adult red-brown free form), Josh Small (boys 5ft semi contact, purple-black), Max Day (boys 5ft 4 semi contact beginner, green), Lisa Huttel (women's 60kg semi- contact beginner, purple), Max Day (boys 5ft 4 light continuous beginner, green), Robbie Hearn (men's 70kg light continuous beginner, purple-belt), Simon Day (men's 80kg+ light continuous beginner, purple belt); Third: Lisa Huttel (adult red-brown free form), Jamie Baker (adult kyu, black free form), Charlotte Banes (girls 4ft 8 semi contact beginner, green), Richard Quinn (men's open weight semi contact beginner, purple), Josh Small (boys 5ft light continuous purple-black), Charlotte Banes (girls 4ft 8 light continuous beginner, green), Lisa Huttel (women's 60kg light continuous beginner, purple). Also representing the team were William Richards, Olivia Banes, Xena Hopkins and Theo Day.

The Combat Academy train at Foley Trading Estate.

For for information, call Simon Small on 07710 775416 or email