Three longstanding karate pupils and two rising stars have reached the next stage in their journey. Black belts; Lisa Reeves, Jenna Poole and Aaron Ross successfully graded last week. Aaron and Jenna reached fourth dan with Lisa attaining her fifth dan.

Elliot, and Zinedine Hodgson, two young karate prospects reached second dan on the same grading at an impressively young age. The weekend prior, Elliot, 13 and 'Zinny', 11 returned from the Scottish Championships with yet another haul to add to their already packed trophy case.

Elliot received two silver and two bronze medals; Zinedine took three golds, a silver and the overall champion status after racking-up more points than anyone in the competition. The success of the young prospects marks a new era for the gym.

With an overhaul of the branding and ventures into previously untapped combat sports, it is a time of change for the team. Sensei Mark Hodgson said: "We're trying to bring it into the twenty first century", "We're hoping 2019 will be even bigger."

Despite their focus on the future, Just Grind, formerly known as Hokushinko, are not forgetting their roots. In some form, the Workington based dojo has operated for eighteen years, during its tenure one hundred people have received their black belts.

Aaron and Jenna have trained at Hokushinko since childhood and have both graduated to an assistant coach role. "With Aaron and Jeanna, they were four year old when they started with us" said sensei Mark, "She's got her own family now, it's a big defining moment in their lives."

Lisa Reeves said "They aren't our students, they are family." Lisa, Mark's wife has been involved with the gym since its inception. Mark was always a little tougher on Lisa because he did not want people to say that she has got where she is through preferential treatment.

However, the milestone grading was led by Mark for the first time ever and he now believes she is "probably one of the highest level women in the country." Lisa said: "So today I became a fifth dan and I want to thank my husband, my best friend, my sensei for moulding me into the person I am today."