RETRO: At full stretch to kick their rivals at karate

Delroy Lewis (30) of the Central Dojo Club, won a Gold medal in the British Karate Championships, and a Bronze in the World Championships -'16th August 1983
Delroy Lewis (30) of the Central Dojo Club, won a Gold medal in the British Karate Championships, and a Bronze in the World Championships -'16th August 1983
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Wax the car. Paint the fence.

It is the martial art which teaches discipline, respect and how to execute an effective open palm nose-breaker.

Pictured at their home on Beech Grove, Conisbrough, are sisters Michelle and Dawn Edwards, members of the Wath Karate Club. 19th August 1987

Pictured at their home on Beech Grove, Conisbrough, are sisters Michelle and Dawn Edwards, members of the Wath Karate Club. 19th August 1987

Sheffield may have a reputation as a boxing city - from Johnny Cuthbert to Herol Bomber Graham, Prince Naseem Hamed to Kell Brook - but karate is a form of gentlemanly combat that has been popular here for decades too.

The ancient Oriental art was popularised in the western world on the back of Bruce Lee films and the 1984 movie The Karate Kid in which a mystic trainer teaches a young lad the skills of the sport through requiring him to do menial chores - such as waxing his car.

In South Yorkshire, generations of youngsters have been attempting to become black belts ever since.

Today, Tuesday Retro continues our A-Z series of hobbies which are loved in South Yorkshire with: K is for karate.

Karate Exhibition - Barnsley'24th June 1967

Karate Exhibition - Barnsley'24th June 1967

Sand the walkway, indeed. “This is a great way to stay fit, look after yourself and meet new people,” says Dave Bolsover, black belt, chief instructor and founder of Makenki Karate Clubs, one of the biggest such organisations in the city. “When you look at our club, we have 180 students aged from four up to 67 training at five venues - in Handsworth, Crosspool, Gleadless, Stocksbridge and Parson Cross - across the city. And we’re just one of many. That tells you how popular this is.”

None of the students will have to wax his car (“not unless it’s really dirty,” he jokes). But he says the visible increase in confidence of participants is remarkable. “That’s the one thing parents will come back and say, time after time,” says 58-year-old Dave, who founded the club in September 2003. “That their son or daughter has really come out their shell since they started lessons. Karate doesn’t just teach you combat skills, it teaches you how to be a better, more rounded person, I think.”