A set of triplets from Peterborough are setting the martial arts world alight as they trailblaze their way to the top.
Brothers Matteo and Nicholas Santin both earned their black belts on Saturday, while sister Rebecca, currently sidelined with a pulled leg muscle, already has her brown belt.
The trio of 10-year-olds, from Whittlesey Road, Stanground, only took up the sport two years ago but have raced through their gradings with flying colours.
Nicholas said: “Our teacher said my score of 73 was one of the highest, and my brother’s score of 68 was very good.
“The next level is really difficult though, so it will be hard work to get.”
The grading exam took place a few days after their birthday, and saw the brothers fighting a number of people to show examiners their moves.
They practice twice a week at the Regional Fitness and Swimming Centre, in Peterborough.
Nicholas said: “It was very painful - I got punched in the head and my brother got hit in the nose.
“But it was worth it.”
Rebecca said she was looking forward to getting back into action in the New Year.
She said: “I did something and pulled a muscle in my leg, and have been out for eight weeks.
“I am looking forward to going again though because I really enjoy karate.
“Our teacher, Clifton makes the classes very enjoyable.”
Dad Marcus said he was thrilled with the trio’s success.
He said:” I am very proud. Nicholas and Matteo both got very high grades, and Rebecca hadbeen doing very well until she injured her knee.
“They have moved up a couple of belts in one go a few times when they have done their exams.
“They are very competitive, especially the boys. They practice against each other all the time.
“I used to box when I was younger, but not professionally, but I think they got interested in karate from watching all the action films when they were younger.”
Former karate world champion Clifton Findley, who runs the Peterborough Freestyle class the triplets attend, said: “They had never done martial arts before, but they came into the class and just blossomed all the way.
“Everyone loves then, and they are very good with all the others.
“I have never seen triplets do so well at the same time like this before. I couldn’t believe it when they all walked in together.
“It is very rare for children this young to get the belt so quickly.
“They have scored very high marks all the way through the process. A lot of doors have opened now. They can be junior instructors, and go on to competitions. I hope they go on to learn different styles of martial arts.”