Mick is still at karate kid - at 70

A SPRIGHTLY Ipswich granddad is feeling like a karate kid today after celebrating his 70th birthday.

A SPRIGHTLY Ipswich granddad is feeling like a karate kid today after celebrating his 70th birthday.

Mick Young took up karate 26 years ago to encourage his son, Colin, to get fit.

Now Mr Young, of Hadleigh Road, loves the martial art so much he has achieved his third dan black belt and teaches youngsters at the Triangle Community Centre.

He said: “I took it up to get my son into it. He wouldn't do it on his own so I went to watch and I ended up joining an over 35s class.

“It is good for discipline. It is about respect and it keeps you in good shape.

“I won't pack it in now because I think I'd stiffen up and I want to stay flexible. It is a good sport for older people.

Most Read

“I'll keep going for as long as I can. I played football until I was 64.”

Mr Young said his son Colin, who is now 40, still takes part in karate and the family habit has been passed down to his granddaughters, Lermay, nine, and Lonarra, five, who have taken karate, too.

He now trains every day and goes to the Mick Blackwell Martial Arts Academy once a week, as well as teaching at the Triangle Community Centre.

Mr Young, who used to maintain electricity lines but is now retired, said one of the reasons he became a coach was to bring to community together.

He added: “It was to keep the children off the streets and get them doing something together.

“It breeds respect for elders and each other and I do think it helped the area.

“Karate is a great sport and I would recommend it to everyone.”

Are you still enjoying a sport after your retirement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.


Is a martial art that developed from a synthesis of Japanese fighting methods and southern Chinese martial arts.

It is a striking art, featuring punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes and open handed techniques.

In Japanese the word means “empty hand”.

It is used for self-defence, for self discipline and increasing confidence.

Elderly sportsmen

Fred Davis - The snooker player won the sport's world championship three times in the 1950s and returned to the Crucible in 1984 aged 70. He kept going in the sport until 1992, retiring at the age of 78.

Knut Olav Fosslien - The footballer kept playing for Norwegian third division side, FK Toten, until he turned 60 in 2005, 43 years after making his debut.

Jack Hobbs - The cricketer scored more first-class runs and more first-class centuries than anyone else in the history of cricket, and half of them were racked up after he turned 40. He played professionally for Surrey until his mid 50s.

Harry Beasley - The jockey was 39-years-old when he won Grand National on Come Away in 1891. He rode his final competitive race in 1935 at the age of 83.

Sadayoshi Morita - The rugby player kept playing his beloved sport until he was 90.