Imran's black belting performance
PUBLISHED: 18:13 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 26 October 2009
WHT reporter John Hutchinson sees a would-be Olympian make the grade at a Hatfield sports centre IMRAN Zaman has graded for his 1st degree black belt, the higher order of ranking in taekwon-do – at just 12-years-old. Imran, who has been training at the H
WHT reporter John Hutchinson sees a would-be Olympian make the grade at a Hatfield sports centre
IMRAN Zaman has graded for his 1st degree black belt, the higher order of ranking in taekwon-do - at just 12-years-old.
Imran, who has been training at the Hatfield Leisure Centre for six months, was awarded the distinction by the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Dojangs (UKTD), affiliated to the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF).
Instructor and 4th degree black belt David Bogen was delighted with the youngster's achievement at such a young age, having trained him since he was eight.
Bogen said: "Taekwon-do has changed Imran over the years and has certainly made him more mature.
"It has given him so many life-skills, and I am delighted that he has been successful in his grading."
The 12-year-old, who travels with his family to Hatfield from his home in North London, had to endure a rigorous 60 minute examination where skills, stamina, movements, technique and knowledge of the martial art were all tested.
Marking the youngster was the UKTD president, Nissan Moradoff, who was astounded with such a high level of skill at such a young age.
Imran said: "I am very happy, and was very surprised at just how tough it was.
"My aim is to carry on progressing and improving all the time.
"I am very dedicated to the art, and my long-term aim is to get to the Olympics and represent my country."
The Edgware-born youngster believes the modern art of self defence has given him a lot of self-confidence and self-control, and is eager to urge others to get involved.
"It develops you in so many ways and helps you know how to adapt when dealing with different situations.
"It was quite a challenge for me getting into the adult class, but I have proved that with dedication you can be successful."
Imran also paid tribute to his teachers, saying that they have been a major reason for him getting to the stage he is at.
He stated that the friendliness of the instructors was a main reason for him continuing after originally going "to try it out".
And proud mother Lalabe Zaman echoed the positive sentiments.
"I am so very proud of Imran and it shows how dedicated and loyal he has been.
"It is an amazing achievement to go for black belt grading at such a young age," she said.
"It is a compliment to his hard work, and also the teaching and instruction from Mr Bogen. We are all delighted."
Classes take place at the Hatfield Leisure Centre every Thursday from 6pm-7pm. For more information visit www.taekwondo-uktd.co.uk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07949612706.
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