A 34-year-old man from Coventry has become the first disabled person in Britain to achieve a black belt in kickboxing.
Carl Hodgetts has defied the odds and achieved a remarkable feat in the world of sport, despite not having the use of his legs.
He uses his arms and hands to ‘kick’ his opponents and has been given his black belt by the World United Martial Arts Federation.
"If you're in a wheelchair you can still train”, said Richard Hopkins, founder and president of the federation.
"We haven't got enough people doing it in England but in America they have competitions especially for people in wheelchairs.
"Carl trained for a few years up to his black belt. He's the first disabled person in this country to do this and we've got 26,000 members."
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Carl, who works part time as a park ranger and teaches kickboxing in his spare time, said being in a wheelchair is actually an advantage in the sport.
“I can even use it [the wheelchair] to block people,” said the kickboxer.
"It's made of metal, there's less of a target area to hit and, let's face it, there's not a lot of point attacking my legs.
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"If someone is 6ft-plus it's a case of attacking their knees, legs, shins, stomach and private parts. But if they're really short I aim for their face."
When Carl’s opposition use kicks, he has to work double hard with his arms. Richard explains how Carl got through his gradings.
"A lot of martial arts is with your arms anyway so all he's missed out on is the kicks..
"There's 16 or 17 kicks but the syllabus he has to do matches the amount of work in order to get a black belt.
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"He had to do more work with his arms than other people.”
At the moment, Carl is teaching able-bodied and disabled people kickboxing – but hopes to gain another kickboxing grading soon so that he can train people up to black belt.
In the run up to the London 2012 Paralympics, Richard says that Carl is "definitely an inspiration to disabled people out there”.