A Karate teacher from Sheffield is looking to branch out across the community after the ‘whirlwind’ success of his classes, including for people with disabilities.
David Shaw, 43, quit his full-time job last year to pursue a career as a martial arts and fitness instructor and currently runs 14 classes per week in the Norfolk Park, Manor and Gleadless area.
His sessions for disabled people, which take place at Enable Sheffield and Sheffield Mencap, have become so popular that he is searching for more venues to use.
Mr Shaw said: “It’s been a whirlwind since taking the jump into this, we are opening up to people with disabilities and rightly so.
“There’s a gap for people with disabilities missing out. People with disabilities tend to stay away from the mainstream clubs so I was inspired to offer a service for them specifically.
“It’ll be a case of me knocking on doors but I’m always branching out into different things. It keeps it fun and exciting.”
Mr Shaw has been shocked at the immediate impact his classes have had on the community.
However, teaching adults and children with disabilities holds a special place close to him.
“It’s the classes I get the most enjoyment from because you see so much progression,” he added.
“A mum specifically came up to me because her daughter now has movement in both arms and legs which she didn’t have before.
“For me that’s because she’s enjoying it and has the mindset of her own job. I’m just giving her the tools to do it and her Mum is thrilled.
“She can wave which she could never do before so it’s very rewarding.”
Despite its success, Mr Shaw is wary that Karate can be hard to attract newcomers.
However, he is optimistic for the sport’s future in Sheffield.
“In general it is quite a hard sell and on occasions it does have a bad reputation,” he said.
“But it’s misunderstood. It teaches you perseverance, patience and humility.
“It’s got a massive future in a big, practical community and that will hopefully send it flying again.”