A SELF-CONFESSED real-life karate kid is set to represent the UK at championships in Japan.

23-year-old Connor Meek, from Stroud, will be competing at the All Japan Karate Championships on August 25.

To prepare for the tournament, he has moved from Stroud to the Japanese capital Tokyo, where he is currently training with some of the world’s best karate fighters.

Connor’s experience is similar to that of his uncle and sensei Arthur Meek, who lived in Japan for a time when he was Connor’s age and has managed to gain his nephew access to a top fighting competition university.

“I’ve had to overcome many challenges throughout my life, but moving by myself to Tokyo and walking into a fighting gym with elite-level athletes as the only foreigner is very high up that list,” Connor said.

“It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I set out to accomplish this task and that’s exactly what I’ll do.

“The All Japan Karate Championships have been on my radar for quite some time and I knew they were fast approaching.

“I sat myself down one day and said: ‘How can I become the best combatant version of myself in order to prepare for this tournament?’ “The answer was clear: move to Japan.”

Connor, who has also participated in boxing and kickboxing, began karate training at the age of 13 and has been training ever since.

“I love to train - I’m always doing it,” he said.

“When people my age are out on a Friday night, I’m in the gym.”

The karate enthusiast is currently following a strict regime of three hours of training per day six days a week.

Regardless of the outcome of the championships, he is optimistic about the impact that his programme will have for the future.

“I knew moving to Japan to train with the best will enhance my combat skills and unlock a whole new level for me - not just a high level for this tournament, but for life,” he said.