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Kickboxing: Brandon's a black belt at just SIX years old
MINI marvel Brandon Phillips is believed to be one of the youngest people in the world to have gained a black belt in kickboxing.
Six-year-old Brandon, from Colehill, achieved the feat after a hard non-stop hour’s grading session at Bournemouth’s Bulldog Gym last weekend.
In fact, there was a double celebration in the Brandon household as sister Becca was also awarded her black belt on the same day – three days after her ninth birthday.
The kickboxing siblings are coached by father Ross Phillips, an ex-professional fighter and now owner of the NRG Boxing Gym.
Brandon began kickboxing when he was just 26 months old, while Becca started when she was three.
“Brandon has picked many moves up just by watching me sparring and by going out to the gym by himself and hitting an adult size punch bag after school, until it was time for his lesson,” explained Ross.
“They were both taught all the basics and were hitting pads and bags way before they started their belt gradings.
“By the time they came to take their exams they were well advanced for their ages, but were still made to start at the bottom grade and work their own way all the way to the top,” he added.
In total, the brother and sister have completed 16 exams.
And the Phillips siblings could soon be joined in the kickboxing ring by brother Zach who turns two in January.
Ross added: “I am so proud of them. It’s a massive achievement for anyone of any age to get this far and to get my own children there is my biggest achievement.”
Youth gradings consist of skipping, shadow boxing, fitness test (press ups, sit ups, squats, tuck jumps), punching, kicking, knees, blocking slipping/dodging moving and on the last four exams sparring in the ring with an opponent.
For the black belt every kick and knee including jumping kicks and flying knees have to be shown. There is no head contact allowed in youth sparring.