The oldest member is 62, the youngest just four - fighting fitness for all ages is the name of the game at Stevenage club

Memebers of the self defence class at Bedwell Comminity Centre

Memebers of the self defence class at Bedwell Comminity Centre - Credit: Archant

Martial arts is kicking off in a big way at Stevenage’s Bedwell Community Centre.

Tylor Lincoln, four, the youngest member of the group and Caroline Berkley, 62, its oldest member.

Tylor Lincoln, four, the youngest member of the group and Caroline Berkley, 62, its oldest member. - Credit: Archant

A self defence class every Wednesday evening teaches members aged four to 62 kick boxing and self defence techniques.

The class is also proving a hit for many children with autism and learning difficulties.

Oldest member Caroline Berkley says: “I just love it, we have such a good teacher and she’s very supportive. It’s great for all generations. It’s good exercise and you burn a lot of calories.

“It also teaches people a lot about discipline and respect.”


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Sensei Tracey Beatty is a black belt first dan in karate and a former UK number three in kick boxing.

The 52-year-old has been teaching for about 30 years and is now on her third generation of students. “It gives people a sense of belonging and they love being part of something,” she says.

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“It’s great when people come back to me who have gone on to develop successful careers and tell me how important the course was in their lives. It helps children with autism and ADHD with their communication skills, making eye contact and following instructions.”

Carla Lincoln, mother of the group’s youngest member Tylor Lincoln, said: “He loves it. It gets him running around and it helps his fitness and teaches him how to respect people. He’s definitely more confident in himself.”

For more visit www.bedwellcommunitycentre.co.uk.

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