Jul 15 2010 By Michael Shapiro
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DO NOT mess with Claire Mendonca and her family – they all gained their first-degree black belts on the same day!
Claire, her partner Zeb Phillips and their nine-year-old daughter Jade, have been taking up classes at Premier Martial Arts London in Eastcote for the past three years.
And now the South Ruislip trio's dedication has paid off after a total of 76 lessons that included honing their skills in karate, taekwondo, kick-boxing and krav maga (a form of self defence).
“It has been an amazing journey and to do it as a family has made it even more special,” she said. “It was a lot of hard work but we have got a great sense of pride for achieving it. There were times when it was tough but we all supported one another and kept our spirits high.”
Claire admits she had rarely exercised since leaving school, but all that changed through her daughter.
“I found a card in her school bag from the club inviting people to a free safety workshop,” she added. “I went down with her and within 45 minutes, had signed up all three of us.”
Now the Mendonca family have set their sights even higher as the trio will be aiming to achieve second-degree black belts next summer.