Kick-boxers get black belt

Kick boxing 1st dan black belt. Stewart Smith and Rachael Brentnall
Kick boxing 1st dan black belt. Stewart Smith and Rachael Brentnall

Two members of a Heanor kick-boxing club have achieved a sporting knock-out by being awarded the prestigious black belt award.

Rachel Brentnall and Stewart Smith, both from Ripley, both scooped the highly-honoured black belt award at exams and competitions last 

The pair have been training at the Heanor club of Amber Valley Kickboxing, based at the William Gregg Leisure Centre, for the past three years.

Both kick-boxers successfully completed a gruelling six hour exam at the kick-boxing associations’ headquarters at Temple Gym, in 

At the competition, students from across the UK come together and test their skills to be awarded this much coveted prize in 
martial arts.

Neil Fletcher, instructor at Amber Valley Kickboxing, said: “I am immensely proud of both Rachel and 

“This is a fantastic achievement and is testament to both their skills as a martial artists and the determination they put in to their training every week.

“These belts are very well deserved and it has been great to see two of my students reach this high level.”

In the three years since Rachel and Stewart started attending classes, they have both already progressed on to being members of the coaching team, helping other students progress and hone their skills.

Kick-boxing is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching.

It is historically developed from martial arts, includinbg karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and Western 

Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport.

For more detail on what the classes offer, call Neil Fletcher on 07981 415 737 or visit

The classes – which are part of the Professional Kickboxing Association – are also being offered to people for a free trial.