A KARATE expert from Cradley Heath has been inducted into the UK's Martial Arts Hall of Fame after devoting 50 years to the sport.

Garry Hickman runs Hickman Kicks Boxing Academy at Ormiston Forge School in Old Hill and Leasowes Sports Academy at Leasowes School in Halesowen.

The 64-year-old, who lives in Bramble Close, Cradley Heath and is a manager at a driving test centre, was overwhelmed when he heard he would be getting the prestigious honour.

Garry, who is married with two daughters and four grandchildren, said: "After 50 years devoted to martial arts in the Black Country I was honoured to be inducted into the prestigious UK Hall of Fame.

"It is an honour for any martial artist.

"I did boxing first, then I got into karate and I've been doing it since. It's like a drug.

"Three generations of my family have been involved in martial arts.

"Being inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame is something you dream of.

"I never imagined it would happen so I was over the moon.

"It's for top martial artists."

Garry received the award at a ceremony in Burton on Trent. He began his training in Birmingham in traditional Wado Ryu karate becoming successful in national and international competitions accumulating in 1978 when he fought in the England team, and in 1979 became All England Champion.

He runs family sessions at Ormiston Forge on Fridays from 7pm-8.30pm and at Leasowes he runs sessions on Wednesdays from 6.30pm-7.30pm for children and from 7.30pm-9pm for adults.

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