Black belt granddad

MICK Youngs may be fast approaching his 68th birthday but he is still young at heart when it comes to karate.The Ipswich granddad only took up the martial art when he was 45 but managed to get his black belt by the time he was 50.

MICK Youngs may be fast approaching his 68th birthday but he is still young at heart when it comes to karate.

The Ipswich granddad only took up the martial art when he was 45 but managed to get his black belt by the time he was 50.

Now he still loves training which he says keeps both his body and mind in pristine condition.

Mr Youngs, who will be turning 68 on June 16, said: “It started because I was hoping my son would get into it and so started by coming along to watch but then I decided to join an over 35s class.

“I had played football so I was reasonably fit but I wasn't supple like you need to be.

“Once I got into it I started to teach some people and now I train about twice a week and fight against anyone, young and old, though I haven't fought anyone older than me for a long time.”

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Mr Youngs, who lives in Hadleigh Road, has kept the passion in the family and now one of his sons and his granddaughter also compete.

He added: “I still manage to hold my own and I don't think people notice my age - they certainly don't comment on it. So although I realise I am a bit different I just get on with it.

“I would definitely encourage older people to take up martial arts.

“Because it involves the mind it is something they will be able to do and enjoy and also help them keep fit.”

Mick Blackwell, director of the Mick Blackwell Marital Arts Academy on Dunlop Road where Mr Youngs trains, said: “His achievement is amazing and its great because a lot of older people think martial arts is something they can't do but they are wrong.

“So although the average age here is 25-years-old it really is open to everyone if they take it seriously, and Mick proves that.”

Weblink: www.blackwellacademy.com