Judo expert dies after a swim
A martial arts expert has died suddenly after going for a swim in the sea.
Martin Clarke ran the East Street sports centre in Sittingbourne and was responsible for training generations of the town’s youngsters in various disciplines.
The 68-year-old passed away after visiting Seasalter beach on Saturday. Emergency crews rushed to the scene but he could not be saved.
His son John said: “My dad was well known throughout the world for his love of martial arts. He was an 8th Dan in judo, 6th Dan in Jiu-Jitsu, grand master in combat sombo and sambo wrestling.”
He represented Great Britain on many occasions, winning more than 300 medals and was a member of the GB Olympic judo squad in 1978, 1979 and 1980, winning silver at the world games in 1985.
He also won World Silver medals in Jiu-Jitsu in 1984 and Sambo Wrestling in 1985 and 1998.
In 2008 he was awarded a gold medal for services to International Sambo.
The grandfather leaves a wife, Valerie, son John and two daughters Susan and Donna. He had five grandchildren.