02:30PM, Friday 31 July 2015
A former Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead has achieved a ‘lifetime goal’ by reaching one of the highest ranks in martial arts.
Cllr Andrew Jenner, 55, of The Avenue, Maidenhead, who holds five different black belts, was awarded his sixth dan in judo, ju-jitsu and tai-jutsu on Friday by his sensei Jim Lawson, who gave him the coveted red and white belt.
The dan is a ranking system highlighting grades of competitors and teachers, with a first dan being received once a fighter becomes a black belt.
Holders of a sixth dan are awarded the red and white belt, the second highest belt in martial arts.
Cllr Jenner, who runs Jenner’s Riverside Cafe, Ray Mead Road, Maidenhead, said: “For me, this is a huge privilege because it has been a lifetime achievement.
“This is a recognition of my years of being involved in martial arts and teaching.
“It is a great honour as there are not many in the world who hold this belt, so I was pretty chuffed.”
The Conservative borough councillor took up martial arts at the age of 12 and has been involved ever since, both fighting and teaching.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed a rough and tumble and decided it would be better challenged on a mat.”
Cllr Jenner rose through the grades in England before emigrating to Australia where he got into teaching at eight different clubs.
He is also a fifth dan in budo and kobudo, a more specialised form of martial arts.
Cllr Jenner returned to England in 1992 and became a councillor in 2000, before serving as Royal Borough mayor between 2013 and 2014.
“It helped keep the council under control,” he joked.
Cllr Jenner said martial arts were good for children.
“Because of the way they are expected to behave on the mat, it gives them discipline and respect.
“It gives people reassurance that if they need to defend themselves they can.”
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