Dexter Bennett, a student at Sengoku Martial Arts on Green Lane, was crowned North East International Under-6 years Champion 2020 at a tournament in South Shields.
Dexter’s instructor Izzy Fleming spotted his potential and invited him to apply for the competition.
Another first timer who defied the odds was Martin Springett.
Having seen his potential senior coach Ty Harrison persuaded him to venture onto the competition mat. He grasped the opportunity and came away as the best in his group, winning a gold medal and the new champion title.