After a gruelling session lasting more than an hour, Warkworth’s Aiden Sinclair managed to convince judges at the Martial Arts Centre in Albany that he was worthy of his black belt in Aikido – a stunning achievement for a 16-year-old.
To get the honour, Aiden had to show off a variety of wrist and elbow locks, prove capable of relieving a knife from an attacker and fight off up to 20 assailants simultaneously, sometimes on his knees.
He was also obliged to demonstrate proficiency at wielding the bokken (wooden sword) and jo (staff).
The achievement was a triumph for his trainer, Gail Eder, who heads Warkworth Aikido and has been mentoring Aiden for six years.
It is the first time she has submitted a pupil for the black belt.
It is rare for someone under 18 to be graded at such a high level.
“He is my protégé. I am very proud of him,” Gail says.
Gail commended Aiden for his courage, commitment and technical skills.
“It’s about his personality really. He is stable, reliable and consistent.”
Warkworth Aikido meets every Tuesday and Thursday at the Warkworth Methodist Church hall.