As a father of four daughters, Andy Phythian wanted to do everything possible to ensure his girls could look after themselves as they grew up.
And so from an early age, the sisters found themselves schooled in martial arts.
Zara, the eldest, quickly excelled, and had a karate black belt by the age of 14. Having learned everything her local club could teach, she joined an academy in Nottingham run by coach and Taekwondo master, Victor Marke.
Zara quickly became his star pupil, with Marke telling her parents the teenager was so good she should ditch her dreams of university to pursue martial arts full time.
Mr Phythian came to regard Marke as a friend. When Marke married, he was invited to the wedding along with his wife and Zara.
So imagine Mr Phythian’s shock when, barely five years…
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