Teenager earns blackbelt
Ashton Hampton became the youngest member of the Canterbury Buller Goju Ryu Karate club to earn a black belt. In his eighth year with the club, the 13-year-old had his black belt grading earlier this month.
‘‘Beforehand I was very nervous and excited to get it done,’’ he said.
‘‘There isn’t anyone younger to get it in our Club, but in some clubs they are easier to earn than in ours.’’
He started when he was six and said he practices most days and has travelled to Japan twice to train with the Masters.
‘‘[Karate] is a family passion and we all train and practice together, so if one of us gets lazy the others push us along to keep going.’’
‘‘My dad got his Black Belt when I was a purple belt, and we watched it all, and I’ve always looked up to him to be someone I want to be.
‘‘I love sport, but Karate for us is a way of life, and our club is a bit like a big family.
‘‘Im going to carry on training as my sensei, Hayden Wilmott, says a black belt is still the beginning, its not the end, its just a big step on the way,’’
His father Kane, was proud to see Ashton pass his grading, which he said entailed 40-nonstop fights and then 200 press ups to finish.
‘‘It was gruelling but he got the job done,’’ Kane said.
Ashton Hampton, 13, received his black belt this month