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Way of the Exploding Fist: Sensei Shamsul proves that Volunteering Matters

10 June 2016

Community Hub at Patching Lodge in Brighton

An 84–year-old woman from Patching Lodge in Brighton has regained most of the mobility in her right arm thanks to a new form of high intensity exercise class that uses martial arts as its main focus.

The classes are largely thanks to a partnership between Hanover Housing Association and Volunteering Matters who have created a community hub specifically designed to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living in the seaside resort town.

Taught by martial arts instructor, Shamsul Choudhury, the new classes combine traditional Shotokan Karate with high intensity chair-based exercises.

After nearly 40 years of training, the 68-year–old Shamsul decided that he wanted to focus his time helping to combat loneliness and isolation among older people by creating Sunnah Fitness, his own unique form of physical conditioning.

One of the active members of the group is 84-year-old Barbara Cripps. Having spent nearly 16 years with very limited mobility and barely being able to bend her right arm due to a frozen shoulder, Barbara is now benefiting from the regular sessions and encouraging others to join the group.

Sensei Shamsul said: 'I am really proud of the dedication of all of my lively students, especially Barbara. In just over three months her mobility has gone from strength to strength and now she even packs quite a mean punch!'

Hanover’s Caroline Carter, a Support Assistant at Patching Lodge said: 'These exercise classes have been a tremendous success. The fantastic partnership we have with Volunteering Matters coupled with a busy timetable of activities makes Patching Lodge the perfect community hub for older people living in Brighton.'

If you would like any further information about any of the classes at Patching Lodge please contact Volunteering Matters on 01273 688117 or by email.

Notes to editors

LifeLines is a Brighton-based Volunteering Matters project, working to improve health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation for local people aged 50+.