A PAIR of Rhyl ninja in training are well on their way to establishing themselves among the best martial artists in the country.

Ysgol Bryn Heddyd brothers Joseph and Jim Bolton, aged 10 and eight years old, have not only earned one of the highest grades in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), but have also both made the podium at the North West Open BJJ Tournament at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

Training out of Gee Martial Arts, under the guidance of Sensei Gareth Gee since Joseph was five and Jimmy was three years old, both boys have earned brown belts in Shukokai karate and are working toward their black belts in Shukokai Karate. They also have earned seventh Kyu green belt grades in Ninjutsu – the art of the infamous Japanese Ninja assassins - from the Bujinkan Camp in Chester, where they train with dad Jim.

Mr Bolton said: “Both Jim and Joseph have achieved the grey grade in BJJ which is a major achievement, as it is the second highest grade they can get for under sixteens.

“Not only that, but both lads took part in the BJJ tournament, and came away with bronze and silver medals.

“This was a major achievement, especially for Joseph because on the day of the competition, Joseph’s opponents were unable to make the event.

“Joseph then had to make a difficult decision, to either go home with nothing, or compete in the next category up with the older children.”

The grappling based martial art was developed from Jiu-Jitsu and Judo by Japanese immigrants to Brazil in the 1920s, and has rapidly gained popularity in the UK following the success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and other mixed martial arts events.

The boys were awarded their grades in Rhyl by active competing European Gold medalist in BJJ Michael Maarup Pedersen, who travels from his native Denmark every three to four months to oversee their training.

Mr Bolton added: “As children training in mixed martial arts, as well as learning self defence and keeping fit, it is teaching them self-control, discipline, confidence and respect for others and, more importantly, it keeps them off the PS4.”