Jowetts make karate a family affair

A KARATE-loving Suffolk family are as pleased as punch today after all four were awarded black belts in the martial art.The Jowetts - husband and wife Steve and Wendy, both 49, and their children Amy, 18, and Adam, 16 - received the honour having each trained for more than three years.

A KARATE-loving Suffolk family are as pleased as punch today after all four were awarded black belts in the martial art.

The Jowetts - husband and wife Steve and Wendy, both 49, and their children Amy, 18, and Adam, 16 - received the honour having each trained for more than three years.

Mum Wendy said: “My husband used to do karate when he was a teenager but he gave it up.

“My son has always wanted to do it because his dad used to, so when he was 12 my husband took him along to a club.


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“But within a week or two, Steve decided he wanted to have another go, too.

“Then my daughter started and eventually I thought 'if you can't beat them join them'.

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“We all really enjoy it and it's a great thing for us to do as a family.”

The Jowetts, of Whitton Leyer, Bramford, train twice a week under the watchful eye of sensei Billy Brennan at the Arena club in Needham Market, while also practicing regularly at home.

Wendy said: “We fight each other in class quite a lot and you have to exercise a lot of control, but there's the occasional punch in the face of a husband or sibling!”

Achieving the black belt involves a rigorous grading procedure, which can last up to several hours and involves demonstrating various techniques, stamina and extreme concentration.

Wendy said: “From a technical point of view there are many different components which have to be remembered and you need the fitness to get you through it all.

“Both physically and mentally, it's very hard - but very rewarding.

“It's unusual for a family of four to all learn karate and even more unusual for us all to get black belts because people often give up along the way.

“When you have teenage children it's sometimes difficult to relate to what's going on in their lives and vice versa. Karate gives us all something in common to enjoy.”

Has your family celebrated an achievement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The karate grading system

White - tenth Kyu

Yellow - ninth Kyu

Orange - eighth Kyu

Green - seventh Kyu

Blue - sixth Kyu

Purple - fifth Kyu

Purple white stripe - fourth Kyu

Brown - third Kyu

Brown 1 tag - second Kyu

Brown 2 tag - first Kyu

Black - first Dan

Did you know?

Karate is a Japanese phrase which means 'empty hand' and is a martial art of self-defence.

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