Karate girl Shakira packs a punch

THIS little girl is a real life karate-kid.Shakira Bowers may be just three-and-a-half years old but she can already pack a pretty big punch after taking up martial arts.

THIS little girl is a real life karate-kid.

Shakira Bowers may be just three-and-a-half years old but she can already pack a pretty big punch after taking up martial arts.

And Shakira, of Reading Road, Ipswich, enjoys her new sport of karate so much that she is entering a charity kickathon on Saturday where she is determined to complete 1,000 kicks.

Her mum, Tanya, 36, said: “She looks very cute but she can kick and punch with the best of them.

“She's quite a shy child and this has really built her confidence.

“I'm really pleased she does it as it's great for self esteem and self-defence as well as keeping fit.

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“Some people are surprised because she is young but I'm really proud of her.”

Shakira took up karate three months ago after watching all her family get into martial arts.

Dad Gary, 34, started the craze when he took up kick boxing 18 months ago and five-year-old Keanu quickly followed suit by starting karate classes.

And now even Mrs Bowers has joined in by practising kick boxing.

She said: “Shakira practises with her brother and goes training about twice a week.

“She takes it very seriously and she really wants to take part in the kickathon.

“It is a hard task but I think she'll be able to do it as she's so determined.”

Both Shakira and Keanu will be competing in this weekend's challenge, which has been organised by their martial arts school, the Blackwell Academy, to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Lots of the academy's students will be joining them as they try to kick 1,000 times, and black belt students will attempt 3,000 kicks, which should take them around three hours in total.

Master instructor Mike Blackwell said: “My junior students are very keen to help children who are not able to enjoy the health that we take for granted and my adult students are touched by the help and support that the hospice offers to the families of those children.

“Shakira's participation will help to spur on the adult students. After all, who wants to be outdone by a three-year-old?”

Do you know a youngster who can beat Shakira's amazing efforts? 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 and for motivating a strong sense of self-discipline and increasing confidence.

SOURCE: Wikipedia