A KARATE kid from Papplewick now holds three prestigious national titles — and has also landed two medals at the world championships in Las Vegas.
Martial arts prodigy Joel Barker-Klein (pictured), who is aged just 11, took up karate at the age of five.
He is a black belt first dan — the highest grading he can possibly achieve at his age. He isn’t allowed to go for his second dan until he is 14.
Now he can take pride in completing a hat-trick of national golds.
He scooped the UK title in kumite fighting at the English Karate Association (EKA) Championships at the Sheffield Institute Of Sport.
Competing in the ten-to-12-year-olds’ category (up to 37kg), Joel won all of his rounds by knockout.
The prize added to national titles he landed in kumite at the Japanese Karate Shotokan (JKS) and Federation of Shotokan Karate (FSK) championships earlier this year.
Joel has won the top prize in his age category at the JKS and FSK events for the last two years.
The talented youngster, who goes to the Joseph Whittaker Comprehensive School in Rainworth, has also won selection for England.
It was for his country that he fought in Vegas over the Easter holidays in the Ozawa World Championships — one of the oldest global karate competitions.
Joel did battle in three categories. His best result came in the three-person team event where he grabbed a silver medal.
The trio lost in the final but missed out on gold by just half a point.
In the individual kumite event (ten-to-12-year-olds’ category), Joel was one of 64 competitors but battled through to the semi-finals and picked up a bronze medal.
He also competed in kata (non-contact patterns of movement) and fished 12th from 46 contestants.