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Swansea mum Sharon Clement is made karate fifth dan

By SWEPGRoberts  |  Posted: January 12, 2014

Karate mum: Black belt Sharon Clement and sons Adam and Rhoss

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A dedicated karate teacher has been awarded her fifth dan black belt — a rank only a handful of women in Wales have achieved.

Sharon Clement from Manselton, who has been practising karate for almost 30 years, has received the belt in recognition of her skill, hard work and commitment.

It means she is ranked as one of the highest female dan grades — a Japanese mark of someone’s level — in Wales.

“I was speechless on the night,” she said.

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“It was such a surprise and I was shocked as it completely came out of the blue.

“There are fewer than half a dozen of us female fifth dans in Wales.”

Sharon runs her own family friendly club for all ages and abilities called Kasai-ryu Karate Club at St Michael’s Church Hall in Manselton, and said she "could not imagine my life without karate”.

The 43-year-old, who works as a teaching assistant at Burlais Primary School when she's not on the dojo, said: “I do it up to four times a week. The children I teach make the difference as well.

"We have four seniors and the rest are children. I love teaching.”

Her passion for karate also runs in the family as her three children are following in her footsteps.

She said: “My 19-year-old daughter Jennifer is a first dan, my eldest son Adam, aged 17, is a first dan, and my youngest son Rhoss is a purple belt.

“Whenever one of my children gets a grade it is a proud moment.”

Sharon is also proud to be representing women in the sport.

“When I joined there were hardly any females in the association,” she said.

“But now it is great that there are more women involved. It is what the sport needs.”

Sharon was presented with her certificate by Hugh “Bungie” Ruse who is the owner and head of the Budokan Wales Karate Association.

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