PHOTO GALLERY: Newbridge Kenpo Karate grading

Martial arts excellence

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With over 150 members ranging in age from five upwards, Newbridge Kenpo Karate Academy has already achieved great success in its short lifespan.

Before Christmas, the club had the second of its annual grading events for 2016, where participants were assessed and received their new belts.

The club is also preparing to send a squad of 15 competitors to the International Karate Championships in Portugal in April.

Having first appeared on the scene in 2012, the Academy officially opened in unit 22 in Newbridge Industrial Estate in 2015.

The grading for children and adults on December 19 was attended by Association Master Professor Eddie Downey who is head of the European Kenpo Karate Association.

Head instructor Derek Newsome, who hails from Allenwood, is the club’s founder.

With members travelling from all over Kildare, Laois and West Wicklow, there is huge interest in the sport.

Second degree black belt, Keith Page was trained by Association President Richard Burgess. Keith is also one of the club’s instructors.

“Our numbers are growing all the time. There is huge interest out there,” he said.

The club also runs self defence classes for women.

Photos: Tony Keane