6:16pm Monday 30th April 2012
NICK Griffiths is celebrating becoming the 47th adult member to pass the Okami dojo’s black belt kickboxing exam.
During the 10-part examination 27-year-old Griffiths had to complete the modules that are the requirement for someone to become an assistant level instructor, which included basic teaching skills, first aid, refereeing, judging, corner-man work and demonstrating various weight training methods.
Griffiths flew through fitness test required for all members taking the black belt test, completing five rounds of interval sprint training over three kilometres, followed by mixed pad-work that also includes advanced jumping and spinning kicks.
Griffiths then had to free-spar under Thai-Kickboxing rules for 15 minutes over five rounds of three minutes, allowing full-contact kicks, punches, knees and elbow techniques.
Putting him through his paces for this was former professional British champion Rhys Edwards, a 4th Dan instructor with more than 15 years experience.
To complete the black belt test Griffiths then had to demonstrate his power striking or knockout punch by Tamishiwari, or board breaking.
This is a test that dates back many hundreds of years with traditional martial arts and if a person can break a single board with one explosive strike, the application is that if this had been a vulnerable part of the body, bones would be broken and a confrontation quickly ended.
Griffiths was required to break using kicks, knees, elbows and open-palm techniques, two and even three boards at a time.
He successfully passed his black belt in exactly two years through the dojo's advanced training program, but during this time he has accumulated a record of 15 contests with 11 wins.
This also saw him become the IKF British super-welterweight champion (K-1/MTR), winning the title at the 2011 amateur kickboxing championships last November when he defeated Peter Coke of Leigh.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group