Percy Walsh has been honoured with a thirty five year award from Bob Jones Martial Arts.
Percy, who started martial arts in 1978 at the age of 36, received the award from Bob Jones, head of the style Bob Jones Martial Arts, at the state grading held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Now running the Stawell Karate School and also conducting classes in Horsham, Percy is a seventh degree black belt. It is believed Percy is the only seventh degree black belt in the entire Central Highlands region.
Percy admitted it had been a long, but enjoyable journey over the past 35 years in martial arts.
He admitted that when he first started, he gave himself a month before he would give martial arts away.
"When I started, I thought I would only last a month," he said.
"They were all young guys in the class when I joined and I thought at least why not try it for a month to see. Four years after I started, it was the fittest I had ever been."
Percy decided to stick at the sport he had now grown to love and eventually, it led to him becoming an instructor.
He said he loves being able to teach people of all ages martial arts.
"I will continue with the teaching, that's the part I really love," he said.
"I spend two nights a week in Horsham and every Monday and Thursday teaching in Stawell. I can't give it up, I just love it too much.
"I am 72 next year, but I want to keep going with the teaching. As far as improving on the seventh degree black belt, I think I will probably give that a miss."