A PAIR of Dalgety Bay grannies are karate black-belts – at 72 and 77.

Sprightly Sheila Stewart and Isabel Murray, who train at the JKS (Japan Karate Shoto Federation) Scotland headquarters in Dunfermline, completed the remarkable feat on November 2 after four years of training.

Sheila, 72, and Isabel, 77, got involved with the club after their grandchildren started to attend classes.

Under the guidance of 5th Dan instructor Sarah Queen, who even created a class for the pair to hone their skills, they have now achieved one of the highest ranks in the martial art.

Sixth Dan Paul Giannandrea, lead instructor at JKS Scotland, which is based in the Elgin Industrial Estate but also provides classes in other areas, including Dalgety Bay, explained: "They've been involved for four or years and are trained by one of my other instructors, Sarah Queen.

"They are grandparents to two families who are with us already, and I think that is how they started. It's not common at that age; they would have been in their late 60s and early 70s at the time!

"They've done remarkably well and I can count on one hand the number of classes that they've missed. I don't think when they first started they thought they'd get to this stage; it's only been in the last six to nine months that they felt they could make it.

"UK-based, there's probably only a few that have managed to go the distance. As you get older, your health becomes an issue, physically it becomes an issue, and maybe a few start off the journey but don't quite finish it.

"I think it shows that karate is for anybody."

He added: "We presented them with their certificates and got special black belts sent over from Japan with their names on them.

"They're probably still thinking that it's a bit of a miracle that they made this level, and they were both extremely emotional. I think they were a bit overwhelmed, but to stay engaged with something they enjoy, and get to this level, is a massive achievement.

"It shows how much they've enjoyed it."