A PAIR of county teenagers who have spent years learning the art of karate both received their black belts at a recent grading.

The Combat Academy Karate & Kickboxing students, Cameron Lewis and Charlotte Banes, both passed their English Contact Karate Association 1st Dan Black Belts earlier this month.

The five-and-half hours gruelling course and grading took place at ECKA HQ in Coventry under the scrutiny of Chief Instructor Dev Barrett 8th Dan and Senior Instructor Red Walcott 7th Dan.

Lewis, aged 15, has been training at the academy for a little over eight years and has grown and developed immensely during that time.

An active and successful competitor he recently gained two gold medals at the Hereford Open.

Lewis achieved the highest grade of the day out of the seven successful candidates.

Banes, another hard working student, has trained two or three times a week for the past six years and has tested herself on many occasions in competition.

She also helps the club's younger members in the Tiny Taz classes and is a role model for them.

Banes achieved the second highest grade of the day and at 13 years of age was the youngest candidate.

"I'm immensely proud of these guys, their hard work and effort has justly been rewarded and for the pair of them to receive the accolade of highest grades is the icing on the cake and great for the Academy." said Combat Academy Instructor Simon Small 6th Dan.

The Combat Academy operates its own full-time matted premises on Foley Trading Estate, and offers classes suitable for everyone.

For more information contact Simon Small on 07710 775416 or simon@thecombatacademy.com.