EUROPEAN glory is the aim for two York martial arts aces.

Aron Blair, 18, and Alistair Bevan, 16, of Kenshinkan Karate Club, which is based at Canon Lee School, head to Kortrijk in Belgium early next month (APRIL) to take part in the JKA European Cadet Championships on April 5.

Bevan, from Huntington, is actually too young to compete in the kumite (fighting) category - "cadets" are aged 18 to 20 - but he has been picked as part of England's three-man kata (form demonstration) team. He is also being primed for the Euro Junior Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, in May.

Blair, from East Lutton, near Driffield, will be competing in both kata and kumite.

Kenshinkan chief instructor Ian Tate was hopeful of medal success, despite the "incredibly" tough standards.

He said of Blair's kumite chances: "If he gets his head into gear he could do pretty well. He's one of the strongest guys for his age and I don't see any reason why he can't excel.

"The standard is incredibly good, though. A lot of the eastern European countries get government funding so they're almost professional athletes. The standard is as high as anywhere.

"Both Aron and Alistair are placed regularly at national championships, though, so I'd like to think they could come away with something."

Kenshinkan club-mate Andy McClements, meanwhile, is celebrating success of his own.

McClements, an RAF recruitment officer from Huntington, took gold in the Armed Forces National Karate Championships in the purple/white belt category.

The triumph meant he was also propelled into the brown/black belt category, too, where he finished a fine fourth.