Lacie Stembridge, who was born and grew up in the Grimsby area, began Karate at the age of seven. By 11, she was competing as a part of the JKS England team – the same year she received her black belt.

Her love of Karate began when a family member, who ran her own club, believed Lacie should give the martial art a try, and now she has been doing the sport for 11 years. In 2011, she competed in her first international competition at the JKS World Championships in Scotland, winning 2nd place with her team Kumite for her age division, as well as 3rd place for individual Kata.

Since then, Lacie has become JKS World Champion in Koten Kata (2016), and European Champion in individual Kata, Koten Kata and team Kata (2017). She also gained the British Karate Federation Champion title in Kata for her age group just last year. Now, Lacie trains at Leeds Karate Academy (LKA), which is owned by British Title Holders and JKS England coaches, Matt Price and Nick Healed.

Lacie says: “Karate is a great sport and martial art for anyone, especially children. As I started at the age of seven, it has improved my concentration and determination to do well in school and has made me learn the importance of respect for people. I think karate is solely about respect towards people and how to look after yourself in terms of self-defence.”