He’s beaten bullies - and now blind Norwich martial arts teacher reaches a new milestone

Steve Fyffe who is totally blind has gained his 5th Dan in Aikido.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Steve Fyffe who is totally blind has gained his 5th Dan in Aikido.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Blind since birth, life has thrown more than a few challenges at Steve Fyffe.

Steve Fyffe who is totally blind has gained his 5th Dan in Aikido.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Steve Fyffe who is totally blind has gained his 5th Dan in Aikido.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

But a lack of sight has done nothing to deter the Norwich martial arts teacher.

Bullied as a child, he was introduced to martial arts by his father at the age of six and has gone from strength to strength,

Recently awarded the ranking of fifth dan in Aikido, the 65-year-old said he was brimming with pride.

'I'm really proud,' he said.


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'I know one other person who's got fifth dan, that's somebody in Jersey, but I'm the only blind person I know of in the world.'

Although movie star Steven Seagal is among those to have practised Aikido, it remains one of the lesser known forms of martial arts.

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Loosely translating to 'way of adapting the spirit', Aikido was created by Japanese martial artist Morihei Ueshiba and is based on pure defensive skills.

It first caught the attention of Mr Fyffe in the 1970s, but it wasn't until 1982 that he began taking classes with Norwich's top teachers.

'The founder of Aikido called it the art of peace, which it really is unless you happen to be on the wrong end of it,' he said.

After achieving his first dan in the early 1990s, Mr Fyffe has slowly progressed through the levels of Aikido over the years.

'I've been training in martial arts in September for 59 years. I'm 65 now, so that gives you some idea.'

'I started when I was six doing judo. In those days to get a black belt in judo took 10 years.'

As he works on opening a new dojo – or training school – it's his philosophical attitude towards life's challenges that has stood him in good stead.

'I'm going to do it, I know, I usually get it right in the end,' he said.

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