Meet North Somerset’s Karate Kid

PUBLISHED: 13:24 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 18 July 2019

Bristol Karate Academy's Alistair Hanlon with his black belt

Bristol Karate Academy's Alistair Hanlon with his black belt


In Bath University’s sports training village last Saturday, a member of Bristol Karate Academy picked up his black belt.

Alistair Hanlon, who took up karate at the age of seven in 2014 in Nailsea and Backwell, lined up with karate exponents from across the country together with his father Jason, who holds a brown belt, which is one belt beneath black.

After a fantatsic year that has seen Hanlon pick up a bronze medal at last year's Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) Southern Region Championships in Reading, he was put through his paces by Sensei Bob Poynton (8th Dan) and KUGB chief instructor Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan).

Twelve-year-old Hanlon looked focused throughout when performing his kata before delivering well-timed punches when his opponent was pushing forward. He showed excellent use of side stepping and footwork when presented with attacking opportunities.

Club instructor Tim Griffiths said he was delighted with Hanlon's progress and that is was nothing more than the boy deserved.

"Alistair took his training really seriously, using the club's tried-and-tested black-belt preparation plan to structure the run-up to his grading," he said.

"The most critical element, however, was that he brought his own determination and eye for detail to the table.

"Alistair took the feedback given to him in class and then worked to make improvements between training sessions."

He added: "He sets a great example for the next black-belt prospects at the academy.

"We're tremendously proud of him and his achievement and look forward to seeing his progress as he continues his karate journey."

Bristol Karate Academy is made up of four clubs.

Backwell: Backwell Parish Hall, Station Road, Backwell, BS48 3QW.

Long Ashton: Long Ashton Community Centre, Keedwell Hill, Long Ashton, BS41 9DP.

Nailsea: Nailsea School, Mizzymead Road, Nailsea, BS48 2HN.

Westbury-on-Trym: Westbury-on-Trym Village Hall, Eastfield Road, Westbury-on-Trym, BS9 4AG.

All four run through the school holidays.

If you would like to give karate a try, visit their website on

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