A MALVERN student has overcome his disability to gain a black belt in jujutsu after years of study.

Jake Bourne-Jones has cerebral palsy, a condition that restricts movement and control of his legs.

The 17-year-old has spent nine years learning the martial art and said he was delighted to reach the top level.

"I felt like bursting into tears I was so happy," said Jake, who is a student at Worcester College of Technology.

"It was probably the most exciting day of my life."

Jake, from Malvern Link, began learning martial arts because he was fed up with being bullied when he was younger. After trying and rejecting karate and tae-kwon do, he settled on jujutsu, a purely defensive skill utilising techniques from a variety of other martial arts.

His disability restricted his balance and certain moves involving his legs, such as kicking, but his upper body strength compensated.

"Rather than standing up and kicking somebody I'd go down on my hands and kick them from the floor," said Jake.

Although the black belt is now firmly around his waist, Jake said achieving it had not been easy. He praised his instructor, or sensei, Rob Tiene, for helped him reach his goal.

"I've got to give all the credit to my sensei," he said. "He's been like a father to me. He's always there to help."

Jake's ambition is to become a martial arts teacher for the disabled. The first step towards this was getting his black belt. He now hopes to go to Japan to train.

"When you get your black belt it's not the final stage," he said. "It starts there and then you get better.

"Jujutsu is a very big part of my life. I never want to miss a lesson."

Jake described Japan as the spiritual home of jujutsu and said training there was about love of the art, rather than having the money to progress.

While training in Japan is free, Jake is hoping to raise money for travel and accommodation through sponsorship. Anyone interested in sponsoring him can contact Jake on 07974 832845.

Mr Tiene said: "To me it's a big achievement as well, due to his disability. Jake's had it hard really, he's seen other people who started at the same time as him get their black belts a year or two before him. However, he's got it now and he's so proud."

Mr Tiene teaches jujutsu at Somers Park Primary School between 6pm and 9pm on Thursdays. For more information, call 01242 576186.