A young karate star from South Tyneside South Shields has been giving world class opponents the chop.
Aiden McTavy, 11, made waves across the pond with his success in an international competition.
The schoolboy won a silver medal at the Karate-do Goju-kai Global Championship, held in Vancouver, Canada.
After seeing off opponents from around the world, only South African youngster Craig Snyman could beat him in the kumite event.
It was a proud moment for dad Cliff, who was one of a team of supporters who travelled over to support the St Wilfrid’s RC College pupil.
He said: “On the way over to Canada, Aiden started to doubt himself.
It was incredible to see him competing in an international event and doing so wellCliff McTavy
“It had been a big commitment to go over there financially, but he had really wanted to do it.
“On the flight, though, he said he didn’t think he was that good and wasn’t sure he had done the right thing.
“We were there then, so he had to make the most of it. He certainly did.
“It was incredible to see him competing in an international event and doing so well.
“We were so proud of him.”
Aiden followed up that success by winning the North East championship less than a month later.
His brother Owen, six, is also making progress in the sport, with the pair both training up to four times a week at South Tyneside Yamaguchi Goju Kai Karate Academy, at Perth Green Community Association, Jarrow, under the tutelage of Mark Purcell.
Aiden took up karate just two years ago, but is on target to attain his black belt by the time he is 13.
Cliff – who is married to Aiden’s mum Annette – added: “It started off as an after-school activity for him, but it has intensified and he loves it.
“I’ve seen a massive change in him over the last couple of years since he started karate.
“There’s a lot of discipline involved, and it keeps him active.
“The sport is going to give him the chance to see different parts of the world, which can only be a positive thing for him.
“He has got events in Hungary in two years’ time and Tokyo two years after that to look forward to.
“We’ll be supporting him all the way.”