HALE Karate teacher Alex Cockx has been selected for Great Britain in the World Kata Championships.

The 19-year-old Hale Karate Club mentor is widely regarded as one of the rising stars of British Karate and has been selected from around 50 top karate players nationwide in the three-man team in the open section, available to all ages.

Kata is described as the soul of karate and is a non-contact exercise comprising of 35 different sequences of movements which must all be precisely formed, held and timed, requiring great strength, balance and agility.

Cockx, a former Altrincham Grammar School pupil, said: “It’s about physical precision, strength, timing and discipline.

"It takes years and years of practice to hone sequences which last for a matter of minutes.”

He decided to forgo university to concentrate on his passion for the martial art he has been learning since he was seven and now teaches 90 local enthusiasts of all ages over three weeknights at Hale Karate Club, which is based in The Grammar Sports Centre, at his old school.

He said “Karate is not only about self-defence, it’s about self-discipline and finding your inner mettle.

"More and more schools and families are taking on board all the benefits and I believe the inclusion of Karate as a demonstration sport in the Tokyo Olympics next summer will give it a higher profile worldwide.”

As well as teaching, Cockx trains for around 15 hours a week and travels the UK to find the level of competition he needs to develop his craft to a world-class level.

He added: “My ambition is straight forward. I want to become grand champion, the very best in the world, and that is going to demand hard graft, work and sacrifice as well as some natural ability.”

The event in Lisbon, Portugal is between October 21-22 and marks the start of the Karate’s major competitions with the Europeans the next target for Cockx in November.