TAEKWONDO toddler Jayden Simpson-Kidd is the youngest British child to gain a belt in the martial art having passed his first grading aged two years, two months and 21 days.

Jayden was born into a high-kicking family in which his grandmother, parents, older brother and cousin all holding Black Belts in WTF Olympic Taekwondo, with two other siblings also carrying out the sport, and including his cousins who started doing Taekwondo when they were three-years-old.

He is the son of Taekwondo coaches Rick Simpson and Natalie Kidd, of Silsden, and has been practising Taekwondo with the club's students for the past two months, taking part in a warm up, pad kicking and some technical exercises.

"He's a bit different to most kids," said dad Rick.

"He can concentrate really well, follow instructions and perform the kicks just as well as most five-year-olds.

"There are things you wouldn't expect him to be able to do but because of the way he is, he's been able to perform on a Taekwondo grading and pass".

Mum Natalie added: "Even though his dad Rick is a qualified grading examiner, he didn't want to grade his own son so we invited an independent Taekwondo Master over to carry out the grading.

"He had to do the grading along with everyone else in the club, and took part in the grading by doing a warm up, performing three different types of kicks - snap kick, turning kick and axe kick, off both legs, shouting on each kick, demonstrating accuracy and power and also performing ten Basic Movements.

"He also performed punches and blocks, as well as following instructions from the examiner."

Master Laura Holness, a Black Belt 5th Dan who graded the 'Taekwondo Toddler', said: "I told Rick and Natalie before the grading that if he wasn't up to the standard then I wouldn't pass him.

"On the day, as well as being really cute he was also fantastic at the Taekwondo - he followed instructions, he did what I asked him to do, he did the techniques correctly, but most of all he showed he was having fun.

"His co-ordination, concentration and ability was way above expectations. He's earned his first belt, so well done Jayden!".

A spokesman for official governing body British Taekwondo checked its database and confirmed that Jayden was the youngest to have achieved a formal grade by gaining a ninth Kup - a white belt with a yellow tab.

Horizon Taekwondo Academy, where Jayden trains with his mum and dad, has started a "Taekwondo Tots" class at Silsden Methodist Church every Friday at 4pm for a 45-minute session. It is open to two to five-year-olds. Further info contact 07977 065357.