Belper sports lecturer beats age to win national title

Charles Spring with his karate trophies. Photo contributed.
Charles Spring with his karate trophies. Photo contributed.

Belper sports lecturer Charles Spring has battled his way to a national karate title after a 22-year break from competitions.

Fifty-three-year-old Charles competed at international level in his 20s and 30s, but was forced to stop after a bad injury meant he would not be able to take part again.

Now, he has won the English Revolutions tournament Traditional Kata Championship in the over-45s category in his first year back, plus a silver medal at the English Championship for his sword kata, a sequence of combat-related moves put into a pattern.

Charles, who holds karate and kickboxing classes in Belper and Milford, said: “When I used to compete it was not often you saw anyone over the age of 35 at competitions but now the older age groups can be some of the larger sections at many tournaments, alongside the children’s groups.

“It is very competitive and an excellent reason to keep fit and get you back in shape.”

Earlier this year, the University of Derby sport lecturer took his place among Olympians, world champions and the man who taught Elvis Presley to fight after being inducted into the Martial Arts Illustrated magazine’s hall of fame.

He has also published his first book, which tracks how the university’s Buxton campus became the first in the world to create a martial arts degree.

To find out more about sport at the University of Derby, www.derby.ac.uk/courses/adventure-sport-coaching-science-bsc-hons.