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Despite the ruling classes wanting to keep unarmed combat techniques secret, through commerce and migration, the martial arts spread from China throughout the east.The earliest chronicle concerning the martial arts is the Nihon Shoki which discusses Japanese wrestling and dates back to 720 AD. Then there’s a tug and a twist of the hips, and suddenly I’m whipped over, heading for the floor. “For a while, I was the only person in the whole of the city of Carlisle with a darker skin. She learned the throw long ago, to stand up to racist bullies. Do you have doubts if Teddy Riner will take his ninth World title?

This is her first interview in the new office, which still has the name of her predecessor on the door, and she is clearly keen to present her sporting credentials. “I do want people to know me, and to know the story. The relationship broke down shortly after I was born,” she says. That was right.” Helen Grant was born in Willesden, north London, in 1961, but was brought up in Carlisle by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We didn’t have a lot of money, but an awful lot of love.” They were in a terraced house on the Raffles estate, which had a reputation. That was really important for my self confidence and my self esteem.” She was a brown belt three flash at 12, but was not allowed to go for black belt before the age of 16. There is a long pause, then she says, quietly: “I don’t think so, no. I spoke to him last night.” Julius has come across from the States to see her at the Houses of Parliament. No one should ever underestimate the determination of a single parent to do the best for their child.” After qualifying as a solicitor in the early Eighties, she joined a small firm in Wimbledon. They say it has accelerated her career and makes her unsackable, however awkward or nervous she might have appeared in the House at times in her first three years. The records show she has not claimed for the flat since January. She has kept the equality portfolio, so what did she make of the comments by Jack Wilshere, the footballer, that only “English people” should play for England — and not those born abroad, who come here for career reasons.

The martial arts have been around for centuries and are thriving more than ever. Rejecting passivity, they know how to stand up for themselves. Martial artists have a heightened sense of awareness.

Some people are drawn to the spectacle of televised mixed martial arts (MMA), with its bone-crushing grudge matches. These individuals strive for equilibrium in the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their lives.

"Because of that, I used to get into quite a few scraps at school.

Ordering me to stand still, she comes in closer than a Strictly Come Dancing partner and puts her arm around my waist. There was a fair bit of prejudice around, and some bullying.