Karate-kicking brothers claim titles

TWO Ipswich schoolboys have claimed titles at the British Karate Championships in Sheffield just seven years after their uncles - also brothers - did exactly the same.

TWO Ipswich schoolboys have claimed titles at the British Karate Championships in Sheffield just seven years after their uncles - also brothers - did exactly the same.

Isaac Mongan, eight, and brother Patrick, 12, both won in their respective age groups to be crowned national champions at the British Karate Federation's annual championships last month.

And their success sparked a sense of de-je-vu for the tournament organisers who, seven years ago, had already witnessed a different pair of Mongan brothers enjoy similar success at the very same venue.

Joe Mongan won his national title as a 17-year-old while his brother Edward, then aged 14, became champion in his age group.

Joe, now 24, went on to represent England and has competed at the highest level across Europe, while a broken leg put paid to Edward's competitive career.

The former opened his own karate class at Copleston High School in Ipswich three years ago and his nephews were the first ones through the door.

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Joe, whose popular classes now run under the SD School of Martial Arts banner, said: “I am very proud of the boys. They are the first that I've coached to go on and achieve something big but they are also family, so it is a double celebration.

“It's great that they want to follow in our footsteps.”

In preparation for the event, Isaac and Patrick trained for five hours a week and evidently their hard work paid off as Isaac took the Under-30kg title in the first competition he had entered, while Patrick improved on his silver medal of two years ago to be crowned the Under-50kg champion.

“It is the biggest competition that children can enter in this country and it's a fantastic result considering that they are both still in relatively low grades,” said Joe.

“You can now represent England at the age of 14 and the European Championships should be Patrick's next goal.”

Meanwhile, Joe is confident that it will not be long before his club, which also runs classes out of Colchester, produces more champions.

Green belt Jasmine Gayes, 14, has been extremely successful on a local level, while youngsters Elliot Chilvers and Ellie Clarke are on the verge of entering competition.

Isaac and Patrick Mongan are now working towards the English Championships in March.

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