Three youngsters earn their black belts on the same day

Kidderminster Shuttle: New black belts: Samurai Judo Club youngsters Frankie Marsden with Rory and Arran Gulliver show off their new black belts. New black belts: Samurai Judo Club youngsters Frankie Marsden with Rory and Arran Gulliver show off their new black belts.

THERE was a rare achievement for Kidderminster’s Samurai Judo Club last weekend when three of their youngsters gained their black belts on the same day.

Frankie Marston and brothers Rory and Arran Gulliver all travelled to High Wycombe for the competitive part of the black belt process, having already passed all the technical and skills assessments.

Judo black belts are harder to get than most martial arts black belts, and youngsters have to compete against and defeat adults.

Rory Gulliver, 17, weighed in at just 60 kilograms and defeated five opponents all of whom were heavier than him to earn his belt.

His brother Arran, a year younger but heavier at 75kgs, mostly had players of the same weight as himself and dispatched the first two well to qualify for his line-up.

He then saw off three more players as the Gullivers joined the select band of Samurai families with two black belts in the family and the first ever to get both grades on the same day.

Their results increase the current run of achievements for Bewdley High School, which recently finished sixth out of over 400 schools nationwide at the British Schools Judo Championships.

They are actually the fourth pair of siblings from the school to both get judo black belts, following the Lane and Leroux families many years ago and more recently Kate and Tom Walker. All of these have been from the Samurai club.

Frankie Marston, 16, needed just three more wins to get her black belt by points accumulation, and won the two qualifying contests to earn the black belt.

She comes from a judo family: her grandfather, Mike, trained at Samurai nearly 30 years ago and still sometimes comes on the mat at the club now, while father Andy is a third level black belt at the club and last year won the Commonwealth Judo Tournament in Cardiff.

Another Samurai member, Alex Poulton, scored the last points he needed at another black belt grading in Walsall to move from first level black belt to second level.

Aged 22, Poulton started doing jujitsu many years ago and then moved over to judo and joined the Samurai club three years ago.

For more information about the Samurai Judo Club call 07761 122977 or visit www.samurai.org.uk

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