Martial arts tribute to Bethnal Green shooting victim Jordan Bari
PUBLISHED: 16:15 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 04 December 2017
A martial arts instructor has passed a grading exam wearing the belt of his former student who was shot dead in Bethnal Green last year.
Simon Drake achieved his third dan in Tang Soo Do wearing a black belt belonging to Jordan Bari.
The 20-year-old was shot dead when answering the door of a flat in October last year. Three men were acquitted of killing him in July following a trial.
“Jordan and I had the same level,” said Simon, 43. “He was going to get his third dan, he wanted to get it.”
Simon, who teaches at the London Black Belt Academy in Newham, explained that he had approached Jordan’s mum Lisa about wearing the belt, something which she had backed.
She attended Simon’s grading, which took place at the Castle Green Centre in Dagenham, to support him.
“It was so hard,” Simon said of the afternoon, “but I felt like he got us through.
“When I got his belt put on, I felt pretty emotional.”
Jordan, who lived in Stratford’s East Village, had won martial arts trophies all over the country after taking up the sport aged seven.