A KARATE master who was the first British woman to achieve black belt status had her wish granted when she was treated to a martial arts display.

Dot Naylor, 84, was a pioneer of woman’s participation in karate, inspired to take up the martial art in 1965 after watching a breathtaking demonstration.

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She spent her life practising and teaching karate, right up until last year when her health started to decline.

Dot has been a resident at St Fillans Care Centre, in Colchester, since September and suffers with dementia.

When the home asked for residents to come up with their requests for a Wishing Washing Line, she told staff her dream wish would be to witness and judge a display of karate once more.

Colchester Wado Rayu Karate stepped forward and students were on hand to show off their talents in front of the experienced Sensei.

Dot cast a critical eye over their performance, scoring each of the students and picking out the top three.

She was “thrilled” to be able to enjoy an activity which has brought her so much joy throughout her life.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Carol Preston, general manager at the home, said: “This is a lady with dementia, at times her memory loss is quite severe. But here she came alive.

“At the end all the children were asking her questions and we were thinking she might struggle but her daughter only had to help her a little. It clearly brought it all back.

“She remembered all the moves and was doing the scoring.”

For Dot, it was a welcome and thrilling trip down memory lane.

She developed a love for karate alongside her late husband, Charles, Naylor, who was a founding member of the BKF Liverpool Dojo in 1961.

She persevered in an often unwelcoming environment, training with the men to continue her development and achieve her black belt.

“We got quite emotional, it was one of those things when you’re in care homes you have moments when you really connect with someone in the advanced stages of dementia,” said Carol.

“Dot is a real character, she’s still got the moves and she was still teaching up until 2017.”

Dot trained under many great Karate masters and in 1967 moved to South Woodham Ferrers, forming the Chelmsford Karate Club with her husband.

In the 1970s she started Kingswood Shotokan Karate Club and ran it for 30 years.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

In 2015, she was awarded a Point of Light Award by Prime Minister David Cameron who said: “Dot has been a pioneer of women’s karate and has trained and mentored thousands of young people over her 50 years as a volunteer”.

Her wish was granted thanks to the Friends and Neighbours project, which sees Wishing Washing Lines mounted at branches of Tesco.

Visitors can then pick wishes off the line.