Family has three generations of Ju Jitsu fighters – but fear for the future of their club

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A third generation of the same family has become the latest to take up the martial art of Ju Jitsu– but fear their club is under threat.

Six-year-old Chloe Allison – a green belt– joins her mum Kim Richardson and grandfather Keith Richardson on the mats each week at Chuter Ede Community Centre.

The youngster has been learning the art for the past year after joining the club where her mum, 31, has trained for the last 23 years.

Her grandfather has been studying martial arts for more than 30 years, and was a member of the first Ju Jitsu Club in Tyne and Wear.

Mr Richardson, 6th Dan, senior instructor and grading officer, said: “I started coming along to the club after coming across information on the classes in the library.

“Kim started coming along with me and asked of she could join, she liked it and stayed.

Chuter Ede Community Centre

Chuter Ede Community Centre

“It was the same for Chloe – she started coming along with Kim and as soon as she was able to joined the club.”

Kim, who is a 3rd Dan black belt, said: “My dad brought me along and I liked it and it started from there, and it was the same with Chloe.

“It was just something different and it’s good for fitness.”

South Shields Ju Jitsu Club has been based at Chuter Ede Community centre in Galsworthy Road, South Shields for more than 35 years and fears over its future have left not only the family but other members of the club worried.

The venue is one of a number across South Tyneside which is being reviewed as part of a money-saving exercise by South Tyneside Council.

Officers have been tasked to see which centres can survive without subsidy, those which could be run by other organisations and those which are not viable.

Those that officers believe will not survive on their own could be closed.

Mr Richardson, 61, said: “This is the home of Ju Jitsu, this is where it all started, it would be terrible if this centre closes, this is where our roots are. There are a lot of people who use this centre and it would be a shame to see it closed.

A council spokesman said: “The budget consultation is ongoing and this information has been sent out to every household in the borough.”

lSouth Shields Ju Jitsu Club holds its sessions on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Chuter Ede CA from 8pm until 9pm for adults and 7pm-8pm for young people at Chuter Ede on Thursdays.

For details on the club, visit www.facebook.com/South-Shields-Ju-Jitsu-Club