Against the odds Jake Frood from Meanwood has quite literally fought his childhood illnesses and won, at the same time as securing the position at five years of age as the world’s youngest Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts.
Jake was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis and also an Immune Disorder at the age of three. He was often hospitalised, and spent his days being transported in his pushchair by his mum unable to walk because of the pain he was in. Jake refused the notion of physiotherapy and swimming having been advised to partake in gentle exercise….. anything more strenuous could have been detrimental to his body. However, having watched Jaden Smith’s Karate Kid, Jake begged his mum to take him for lessons and an assessment at the National Martial Arts College, Horsforth, spotted his potential and enrolled him. His mum, Kerry Frood, saw her son smile for the first time. Kerry states ‘He came alive and loved it. There was an immediate improvement in his health and, though he would still cry at home, whilst he was training his pain seemed to disappear. The hospital were amazed at his improvement and even said that his training appeared to be saving his life…..before he just seemed to be giving up and had no interest in anything.’
Over the next two years, Jake dedicated his little life to training in Mixed Martial Arts inclusive of Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Taekwondo and Kick Boxing…..Kick Boxing being his favourite. He trained twice a week and quickly moved through the grades. Jake set his stall out to achieve his Black Belt by the time he was five, and thanks to his mums support, the expertise of the team at the National Martial Arts College and Jake’s skill, tenacity and dedication…….this was achieved in October 2013, affording Jake the title of Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts. The youngest in the world, Jakes application has been submitted to the Guinness Book of Records for entry in the 2014 edition.
Jake does not intend to stop at this remarkable accolade and has now set his sights on becoming an instructor by the age of 10 years. He has started his Certified Instructor Training and assists in teaching the three to six year old Ninja Tots once a week. He appears well on track for achieving yet another world record.
To say mum Kerry is proud would be an understatement and I am sure Yorkshire is too.
If you would like to join the National Martial Arts College see page 46.