A BARRHEAD sports club has delivered a knockout performance after four of its students smashed barriers to reach the highest belt colour in two forms of martial arts.

Lauren Kee, 14, and 21-year-old Jack Walker overcame a gruelling process which included a grading day at I-Kick Martial Arts to secure first-dan and second-dan black belts in kickboxing.

Meanwhile, Kyle Chatham, 13, and his 16-year-old brother Lewis have been promoted to first-degree black belts in taekwondo.

These are just the latest successes enjoyed by the team at I-Kick Martial Arts, which is based just off Cogan Street and was founded by Ross Penman in 2014.

Six months ago, Lauren and 17-year-old Ross Chatham, who is Lewis and Kyle’s older brother, also secured their first-degree black belts in taekwondo.

Lauren and the Chatham brothers have honed their skills at the club since joining as beginners eight years ago.

Club founder Ross told the Barrhead News: “We had our four candidates going forward for these two grading events.

“In the space of six months, Lauren and Jack have gained two black belt ranks in taekwondo and kickboxing and, over the course of the year, Ross, Kyle and Lewis all got a black belt in taekwondo.

“It’s quite exciting that all three brothers now have this. These are really big achievements for them. We are seeing that years of really hard work are paying off and the black belts are coming through.

“I see martial arts as something that is as essential as swimming. Everyone should learn how to swim and I also think it’s important for someone to dabble in some form of martial art.

“It’s not just a sport, it also teaches you life skills.”

I-Kick Martial Arts offers a wide range of classes, from beginner level through to black belt, with private tuition on offer to those who are keen to take their training to the next level.

There is also an online academy that enables people to develop their martial arts skills anywhere, anytime.

For more information, visit here or call 0742 950 2254.