‘Her spinning kicks are really good’: Meet the six-year-old with a black belt in karate

South Tyneside youngster Grace Townsley may be only six-years-old but has already proved to be a force to be reckoned with after achieving a black belt in karate.

By Sophie Brownson
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019, 06:00
Six-year-old Grace Townsley has been awarded her 1st dan black belt.

The talented karate kid took up the sport aged just four and in that time has mastered her moves to be awarded her 1st Dan black belt.

Grace, from Lyon Street, Hebburn, trains twice a week at St Aloysius Church in Hebburn under the guidance of instructor Dave Wilson.

Six-year-old Grace Townsley demonstrates her karate moves.

She takes part in a mixed class made up of adults and children, training for more than an hour each time.

Two weeks ago Grace undertook an exam on the human body where she had to match the correct muscles and bones to the correct parts of the body.

She achieved 100% on the exam and then went on to show off her moves in front of a representative from the Northern Karate Association on Thursday, April 25.

Proud mum Corrinna Townsley, 38, said: “As part of achieving her black belt she had to perform a Kata which consists of 42 moves that she had to learn by heart and perform in front of the Northern Karate Association and her Sensei, which is her teacher.

Six year old Grace Townsley has been awarded her 1st Dan Black Belt.

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“The head of the Northern Karate Association said that in his 30 years he had never seen anyone that young achieve a black belt.”

Mum Corrinna, a dental therapist, said Grace’s achievement means that she is the youngest girl in the UK to have achieved this level.
She continued: “It is amazing and I am so proud of her.

“To pass the exam on the human body is an achievement in itself.

“She started when she was just four and a half years old and trains twice a week, every week.
“She has never missed a session apart from when we go on holiday. She is really dedicated.”

Six-year-old Grace Townsley demonstrates her moves.

And on her Grace’s top moves, Corrinna added: “Her spinning kicks are really good as are her punches!”

Six-year-old Grace Townsley.