Kicking back

Sprightly Ken Nevison is never giving his hobby the chop after becoming the oldest double martial arts black belt in Britain – AGED 84.

Super-fit Ken took up martial arts at the age of 58 when he went to pick his granddaughter up from a local leisure centre and saw a class in action.
Just four years later Ken gained his first Taekwondo black belt as a member of Auckland Martial Arts Academy, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Ken, a retired train worker, has now added a second black belt in the martial art and is also a dab hand judo, Thai boxing and Filipino Kali.

He said his love of the martial arts began when he went to pick granddaughter Nicola Maxwell up from Shildon Sunnydale Leisure Centre in 1988.

SWNS_OLDEST_DAN_01Ken said: “While I waited there was a martial arts class taking place and the instructor asked me if I was interested in taking part. He said I could always try it.

“I do it to keep fit and I enjoy it. I’ll use my fists and feet against anyone and I’m pretty fast. I don’t see it as unusual for someone my age to be doing martial arts.”

Senior instructor, Richy Welsh, said: “Ken is amazing. He’s an inspiration and I hope to have him as a student for many more years.

“It’s very easy to say ‘oh I’m too old or too tired tonight’ but here is a guy, 80 years older than our youngest student, who refuses to give in.”