Trowbridge's JJ Smith wins prestigious star award from his national martial arts governing body, NAKMAS

The National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools (NAKMAS) bestows the prestigious NAKMAS Star Award; an award of recognition for outstanding talent and abilities within its membership, both adults and children.

JJ Smith, a 9 year old from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, has received the award for his outstanding commitment to karate, working hard in lessons and travelling up and down the country to train with myriad teachers to get more experience, despite suffering from Crohn’s Disease.

JJ has been training with Jeff Smith and Kayleigh Eaton at the Leigh Park Community Centre in Westbury from the age of five, and he has recently achieved his black belt. He is a student at the Grove Primary School in Trowbridge and his martial arts training has given him confidence and focus for all areas of his life including his studying.

Smith said: ‘I’m pleased for JJ achieving this award; it’s a huge success for him. As a club we try hard to teach our students of all ages and abilities, the spirit and values of traditional martial arts and JJ is always keen to show that spirit. JJ is a fantastic role model for our younger and older students alike; he is always willing to help people and strives to be the best martial artist he can be. With the grit and determination, he shows I am sure he will have a bright future in martial arts’.

JJ uses his Karate to fundraise for Crohns and Colitis UK where he puts on events to help raise funds to research more into this disease. JJ has recently had a few medical setbacks and been told by adults around him he needs to rest more, but his determination to continue training has resulted in his setting up a blog ‘My Crohns Journey’ on Facebook to write about his progress.

NAKMAS National Chair, Joe Ellis, said: NAKMAS has seen individuals throughout its 27 years, showing real talent and abilities. We created this award to highlight individuals that NAKMAS feels should be recognised nationally, and with our full support. We have been hearing about JJ for a while and have pleasure in making him a recipient’.

The award includes a specially designed gold foiled Star Award certificate, highlighting the recipient on the Star Award website (

Tel: 01227 370055, Email .

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About NAKMAS Official Martial Arts

The National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools (NAKMAS) National Governing Body, formed in January 1992 is a non-funded national governing body and is a member of Sport & Recreation Alliance and The Association For International Sport For All. With its Head Office based in Kent, NAKMAS governs all forms of traditional and modern martial arts and has over 65,000 members. NAKMAS has secured the Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport. To find out more about Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport at NAKMAS is an approved insurance provider by XL Catlin and holds a National and International Quality Standard Certificate/Kitemark, BS EN ISO 9001:2015, via the BSI (British Standards Institution).

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