Bradford’s Rehan Lodhi lands coveted 1st degree Black belt at the age of 16

After years of disciplined training and practice, Rehan has finally been approved by senior Senseis to don the dark, prestigious and hallowed ‘black belt’ in Taekwondo, a form of Korean Martial Arts.

Rehan took the grade in front of a highly experienced Panel of Judges where he was put through his paces and had to demonstrate his understanding of patterns, sparring and board breaking. In addition, students answer challenging questions chosen at random on the moves they know and the history of Taekwondo as well as being required to sit a Theory test for 1st dan.

“It’s been a journey of self-discovery and perseverance, building physical coordination and mental discipline through sustained effort”, said Rehan, a Year 11 student at Dixon’s Allerton Academy. A focussed study of the art, intense training in class, a structured grading syllabus, and most of all a dedicated and highly motivated Instructor at the United Martial Arts Academy (UMAA) Bradford delivering wise words of encouragement, constructive feedback and unwavering support all helped Rehan attain his ultimate goal.

“While it’s been a valuable life experience, it’s not what you wear around your waist that matters”, said Rehan, “but what you have in your mind, heart and spirit. It’s about strength of character, building resilience and achieving excellence. To be proficient in the art and craft of TKD requires high levels of commitment, determination and dedication. The belt is only a mile post on the road to knowledge. It’s a bit like graduating with a bachelor’s degree. There’s always room to learn more, the journey never ends”. As a role model, he now wants to inspire and encourage his peers to see his experience as an anchor in life, building positive self-direction leading to personal and character development.

Rehan, whose career ambition is to go on to become a Corporate Lawyer has during his period of training entered many tournaments and competitions taking himself well out of his comfort zone. He hosts a mantelpiece of medals having won numerous trophies including 1st prize and best student for outstanding performance. This talent and skillset helped bolster his rate of progression and grow to the next level.

While Rehan will be enjoying his new accolade with pride, underneath the bravado and all his successes he is an appealingly humble young man who keeps his feet firmly on the ground. After all, with rank comes responsibility and TKD teaches five principles which serve as ‘values and ideals’ that underpin physical training: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.

He is not expecting to do backflips with fast fists of fury while simultaneously fending off ninjas or shinobi anytime soon.

Well done and congratulations Rehan on a great achievement.


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