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Norfolk black belt brings home gold from Athens in KATA division

PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 19 June 2017

Masie came in 1st place, with the girl from Greece who came second, and the girl from Germany who came third. Photo: Masie Emmerson

Masie came in 1st place, with the girl from Greece who came second, and the girl from Germany who came third. Photo: Masie Emmerson

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A Norfolk woman has become a martial arts world champion , after winning gold in the ISKA competition in Athens, Greece.

Masie in Athens. Photo: Masie EmmersonMasie in Athens. Photo: Masie Emmerson

Masie Emmerson, 26, from Ellingham, near Bungay took part in the International Sport Karate and Kickboxing Association (ISKA) world championships in June this year - and came home with a gold medal in the Korean traditional KATA division.

She trains at the Black Belt Academy in Norwich, where she now lives, and works as a third dan black belt martial artist and teacher. Masie trained in martial arts from the age of 11, taking up the sport when she was in middle school.

She said: “One of my friends did a class after school and I said to my mum that I really wanted to have a go, and that was really where it started. That was about 15 years ago. I got my first dan black belt when I was 16-years-old”.

Masie still competes as an amateur, as well as teaching and working on martial arts videos at the Black Belt Academy.

Masie in Athens. Photo: Masie EmmersonMasie in Athens. Photo: Masie Emmerson

However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing, as she took a break from competing “for a few years”.

But after realising she wanted to get back into the sport in early 2016, Masie entered a local competition at the University of East Anglia, in June last year, winning a gold medal in a competition that she says is a highlight of her martial arts career.

“Getting the gold medal at UEA when I came back after the break was really, really good.”

She added: “There was some good competition in the category that I was in, so it wasn’t an easy win. To come first was amazing.”

Masie in Athens. Photo: Masie EmmersonMasie in Athens. Photo: Masie Emmerson

With a few competitions at UEA under her belt, she applied to the England team for the ISKA championships - and was thrilled to be selected.

Despite her break from competing, Masie says: “Martial arts for me has always been something that, from the day I started, I knew it was what I wanted to do. You know it’s not going to be easy but you all encourage each other and get help from people pushing you on. It’s all about self-belief and confidence”.

She adds that martial arts has been a positive influence on her, saying: “When I was at school I was really shy and, had no confidence, and it’s completely changed my personality in that respect.

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