Foshinka Dai Karate classes will begin once again in York after the original club closed down due to a fall in membership, writes Oscar Pearson.

Former world martial arts champion Alan Foster founded the sport in York in the early 1970s, as he combined kung-fu with karate to form Foshinka Dai.

And within 18 months of its opening, the unique fighting system took more than 400 awards at tournaments throughout the UK and Europe, with classes in 31 North Yorkshire schools and many black belt instructors.

But Foster left the city to form the World Martial Arts Council (WMAC) and became president, while members began to leave the York club and it closed just months later.

Now, John Arrowsmith aims to re-launch the club with Andrew Steeper, the vice-president of the WMAC, as the senior instructor.

With the WMAC, which has more than two million members, officially supporting the re-launch, it will be offering advice and assistance to the club’s instructors and members. Arrowsmith is confident the revived club can be as successful as it was.

He said: “Hopefully we’ll be able to develop plenty of interest, increase our membership, enter tournaments again and win even more awards.

“Alan Foster took many concepts of different martial arts when he formed Foshinka Dai and our club became really successful. But he left and membership began to fall. We’ve had requests to re-launch the club and with the support of the WMAC it will be possible.”

Arrowsmith added the reformed club has even higher ambitions.

“We hope to offer student exchanges with martial artists in other countries, and academic courses through colleges and universities for those wishing to make the martial arts a career,” he said.

“We also aim to start classes on Saturday afternoons for those who are keen.”

The first class in York will be held on Tuesday, February 26 at the Priory Street Community Centre from 7pm, for two hours. Those interested should phone John Arrowsmith on 07729 137980 for further details.