Kickboxing champ sets sights on second Dan
A martial arts ace from Bradford is celebrating this week after clinching his black belt following a gruelling five hour grading exam.
Thirteen-year-old Bilal Al Hassan attends Azar Farooq Kickboxing Academy every week with three-hour sessions testing his kickboxing abilities.
Last month, the teen passed his final grading to receive the esteemed black belt, and speaking after the awards ceremony on Sunday, he said he is already targeting his second Dan.
“It felt great to achieve the belt,” he said. “It took five hours to complete the assessment and I thought I would have to stop because it was so exhausting.
“In the end I finished with a distinction so I was really happy.”
In order to achieve the black belt, students must complete the grading for all the previous belts on top of the final test.
Bilal made no mistakes throughout the lengthy exam, passing with flying colours before receiving his well-earned accolade.
“By getting my black belt it motivates me to keep going and now I want to get my second Dan,” he said.
“I have always aimed for this since I started kickboxing but I don’t want to stop now. When I am older I would like to teach kickboxing as well.”
Bilal’s father, Kessar Mahmood, said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of his son’s efforts in build up to the grading. Despite completing the final test behind closed doors, Kessar adds that he was always confident of his son’s abilities.
“He has always tried his hardest at kickboxing and I am incredibly proud of him,” he said.
“Azar (Farooq) is a fantastic coach and has looked after Bilal since his first day at the academy. For him to get his black belt is a fantastic achievement.”
Bilal is just the latest of a line of youngster achieving their belts through the Azar Farooq Kickboxing Academy. More information about the club is available at www.azarfarooqkickboxing.co.uk.