A martial arts teacher is “honoured” after scooping a Pride of Essex Award.

Jiu jitsu Sensei Ian Arbon, who has taught the discipline at South Woodham Ferrers Sports Centre for 36 years was awarded Grassroots Coach of the Year.

His Wakarishin Jiu Jitsu club was nominated for Grassroots Club of the Year.

Ian, 55, did not expect to win at the awards ceremony at Chigwell Hall.

He said: “Myself and my family had an amazing evening.

“We all felt very proud and honoured to be nominated in those two categories.

“I really did not expect to win as I was up against some fantastic coaches.”

The event saw some prestigious names presenting the event, including Sky Sports presenter Bianca Westwood, former West Ham United and England players Frank Lampard Snr and Joe Cole, and Sky News presenter Kevin Adams.

Ian started jiu jitsu in 1985 after training in several martial arts since the age of seven.

He became “hooked” after a black-belt demonstrated a move on him.

He said: “I tried a few different martial arts before finding jiu jitsu, then I fell in love with it.

“After I was made redundant from work, I was asked by my instructor to start taking more classes.

“Thankfully I did and we have managed to make a big success of it.”

Ian said he was “deeply honoured” the club was rated so highly.

He was joined by wife Tanya at the ceremony.

Ian added: “We were deeply honoured to be in the top three as there were over 100 clubs nominated.”