A MARTIAL arts expert is leaving his mark after enjoying success at the highest level - even though he is still a teenager.

Northallerton School and Sixth Form student Ryan Woolley is fighting at European and world level in his chosen discipline of Shotokan Karate.

A veteran of the sport for the last eight years, the 16-year-old has been a black belt for the past four and represents his club, Ripon BSKA, as well as the country in competitions around the world, often fighting in the adult class.

Recent bouts have been held in Malta and around the UK.

And a string of successes has seen Ryan claim bronze medals at national competitions and placed in the top 15 at European Championships.

“I only took up karate for something to do while I waited for my sister who is a gymnast,” said Ryan, who also dreams of becoming an air traffic controller for his career.

“My confidence and skills have developed and I would love to take part in the 2020 Olympics."

He added: "They are due to be held in Japan, the spiritual home of karate, which would mean taking on the very best in the world.”