Josh earns his black belt

PUBLISHED: 15:39 02 January 2018

Josh Mashford.

Josh Mashford.


Bristol Karate Academy student Josh Mashford passed his black belt examination after five years hard work.

Bristol Karate Academy student Josh Mashford, got the Christmas present he was wishing for after passing his black belt.

The promotion to 1st Dan was the result of more than five years’ hard work for Josh, who started at the Backwell Karate dojo, based at Backwell Parish Hall, where he trains alongside his dad – also a black belt – and brother.

The December exam date meant that he was able to pass just in time for Christmas, a perfect way to round off the year.

The grading took place in Surrey, after Josh and his fellow examinees were put through their basis by renowned karate experts Sensei Frank Brennan (8th Dan) and Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan).

The exam involved Josh demonstrating Karate fundamentals, combinations, kata and kumite (sparring), in which Josh showed exceptional control of his fighting area and poise in both defence and attack.

Josh is the fifth club member to pass a dan grading in 2017, Bristol Karate Academy’s inaugural year, following the coming together of dojos in Nailsea, Backwell and Westbury-on-Trym.

“We’re all delighted that Josh got the black belt that he trained so hard for,” says Bristol Karate Academy coach, Tim Griffiths.

“Any high performance athlete wouldn’t become an expert in their field without daily practice and it is exactly the same with Karate. Josh rarely misses a lesson across all of our dojos and makes sure he runs through drills in between classes too, the hallmark of anyone committed and showing future potential. Congratulations to Josh and we look forward to helping you as you continue to progress.”

Josh started karate less than a week after the close of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and now all karate exponents can eyeball the opportunity to become Olympic champions themselves, after karate was admitted into the 2020 Games in the home of the martial art, Japan.

If you have got Olympic ambitions or simply want to try something new in 2018, then find out more by visiting

2017 will be remembered as a good year for young George Guiver of Clevedon Karate Kai, not only has he just gained his next grade he has also been awarded the student of the year award.

George has shown a lot of commitment over the last year and training twice a week has certainly helped, congratulations George from all of your instructors and fellow students.

The Clevedon club will start back on January 5 at All Saints Church, anyone wishing for more information please contact Kevin on 01275 877811 or Nigel on 01275 343679.

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