Karate kid, 11, from Harold Wood achieves black belt title

AJ Jordan with this trophies and medals

AJ Jordan with this trophies and medals - Credit: Archant

He may only be 11-years-old but you wouldn’t want to mess with AJ Jordan.

The seemingly shy and modest youngster has just become one of the youngest to be awarded a black belt as well as winning international and national karate championships.

Ayden Jay Jordan was the first member of his club, Roding Karate Club, based in Harold Hill, in 12 years to pass the prestigious first class black belt.

AJ’s mum Kerry, of Court Way, Harold Wood, said she encouraged AJ to participate from the age of five to overcome his shyness.

She said: “I was a child minder and noticed how confident the other children were. AJ was shy and timid and I thought it would be good for him to try karate to help with this. He was keen and took to it fantastically.

“He liked the discipline and respect he got from doing it. He’s only little, but people think he’s a lot older than he is because of the way that he carries himself.”

She added that although he does well at Kata displays, he excels during fight sequences.

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And on Saturday he won an international title during a tournament in Glasgow for the World Karate Federation championships. AJ beat competitors in five rounds before winning a gold trophy for the 11 to 12 category.

Earlier this year he won the gold English Karate Federation trophy for the 11 to 12 category; the second time he has won the accolade.

Kerry added: “He always gets nervous before a tournament or before performing, but as soon as he steps out on to the mat in front of hundreds of people he is confident and performs well.”

AJ, a pupil at Redden Court School, found out about the black belt competition four weeks before the examination and trained throughout his summer holidays for the competition last weekend.

Kerry added: “The club puts members forward for the grading when they think they are ready, so there is not always a lot of time to prepare before it. On the day he was at the grading with 14 to 18-year-olds, so he has done so well to get the grading at such a young age.”

It involved a theory test, exercises including squats and sit ups, questions and 50 fights over two hours.

“All the younger children in his club look up to him, and he is now taking them under his wing. They look to him like a role model, but he is still humble.”