A MARTIAL arts instructor has achieved one of the top accolades in Modern Kenpo Karate after 32 years of training.

Ted Claire, 37, of Tyger and Dragon academy in Winsford, achieved his seventh Dan Black Belt ,the second highest grading possible, and he spoke to The Guardian about his training, the grading and the plans he has in the future.

He said: “It’s essentially an accumulation of a life long’s training, to be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet. I was invited to take it last year, I was invited the year before as well but didn’t feel ready.

“I’m only 37 and even though I’ve been doing it since I was five years old I actually didn’t believe I was ready for it.

“With this level comes the title of professor, I was told that they don’t give this away and that more people fail than pass.

“Even with all the training there were still no guarantees that it was going to happen.

“When they said I’d passed I sort of froze and just said ‘oh right ok,’ everyone laughed and had to keep telling me ‘you’ve done it you’ve passed’.”

Ted’s academy is very active with community projects in Winsford.

Ted said: “We built the Christmas grotto for Winsford because there wasn’t going to be one.

“We help the community’s disadvantaged kids, we bring them in and give them martial arts lessons.”

Ted also has an ambitious project for charity in the pipeline.

He said: “At the moment we’re still in the process of trying to fix it all up but what we’re hoping to do is a series of seminars.

“The seminars are going to involve as many coaches as I can get from the local area all working together so essentially we’re looking at getting all of the students and teachers together and giving each coach their own teaching space and then everyone can switch round.

“The money raised will go to charity.

“Essentially we’ve got some really good martial arts in the area so if we can get people involved in it and give them a chance to try different styles and approaches all in one event it will do the martial arts community in Winsford a lot of good but also raise a lot of money for charity.”