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Six-year-old Chatham boy eyes karate black belt

A karate kid is due to kick and punch his way to a black belt – and he’s bringing his mum and dad along for the ride.

Eddy Cook from Chatham is gunning for the belt, and he is just six years old.

Eddy Cook does karate training three times a week. Picture: Sean Aidan.
Eddy Cook does karate training three times a week. Picture: Sean Aidan.

He has been training since the age of three at Karate Leadership UK at Lordswood Leisure Centre, North Dane Way, which is run by former world champion Nathan Marsh and his family.

Over eight weeks, Eddy, of Hurstwood on the Davis Estate, has to complete a series of tasks and perform an assessment of his karate.

This includes four hours of community service which he completes at his school – Balfour Infant School, Rochester – helping the younger pupils with their meals and tidying up the classrooms.

Between training three times a week and swimming lessons, Eddy also teaches the youngsters including his little sister Evelyn, three, at Little Ninjas classes for three to five years.

He also has to walk 16 miles, which he is doing with his mum Tracey on the way to school, run 12 miles, which he’s doing with dad Sam, and complete a write-up of himself about what he wants to achieve by doing his black belt.

Eddy Cook, six, with mum Tracey, dad Sam and sister Evelyn, three. Picture: Sean Aidan.
Eddy Cook, six, with mum Tracey, dad Sam and sister Evelyn, three. Picture: Sean Aidan.

His assessment will include completing a selection of more than 200 moves he would use in a fight situation, sparring, and completing 1,000 kicks and punches in an endurance session lasting four hours.

If successful, Eddy would qualify to work up to the next belt, of which there are 10 levels, or Dans.

Sam said: “Once he’s got his black, he won’t stop. He will work towards the next belt.

“It’s a lot to take in. It’s a rarity for his age group and it’s not common to see; there’s one other child I know who is one year older than him who’s got it.

“He’s loved it for some time. We thought he might give it up but he just pushed through. He’s naturally talented at it.

Eddy Cook with his belts and medals.
Eddy Cook with his belts and medals.

“He has been working towards it for a long time.

“He’s always got stuck in and got involved, it’s definitely his passion.”

Electrician Sam, who used to practice martial arts, and his wife Tracey are also working towards the same qualification.

“Me and my wife are doing the black belt at the same time.

“My wife started just to keep him interested and I just started because I sat there watching him and I fancied giving it a go.”

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