In 2006 former personal trainer Cedric Pulcian decided to put his love for martial arts to better use by helping young people in some of Birmingham's most troubled areas.
Applying the art's principles of discipline, healthy eating and exercise to daily life, he developed plans for a project aimed at transforming their lives.
In November 2006, the 33-year-old's proposals were recognised by the Midlands Social Impact Awards - backed by The Birmingham Post and UnLtd - the foundation for social entrepreneurs. The award recognises how businesses can be ethical and socially responsible, with winners named every month.
Each successful project receives funding and support with £500 to £5,000 made available to help with running costs.
Mr Pulcian's plans for his "Life Skills Organisation" aimed to utilise the discipline of martial arts to improve the life skills of young people by addressing their poor dietary and fitness habits.
After this stage was reached, Mr Pulcian said he hoped to "harness and channel" their new fitness regime into educational activities to further improve their aspirations.
Already Mr Pulcian has helped more than 150 primary school children through classes in the Bartley Green, Northfield and Kingstanding areas of the city, with links established between the project and local schools, the probation service and police.
"I heard of the UnLtd prize in May 2006 and received the money in October 2006," he said.
"I started off with 25 children and the same time a year later, I had 250 children."
This month, Mr Pulcian hired two former young offenders, who will train as instructors.
He added: "My vision is to have martial arts as much a part of the curriculum as maths and English as it gives children life skills."
IT worker Elijah Phillips is one of the award's more recent winners. His project aims to deliver IT training through animation to engage young people at the risk of exclusion and offending, while encouraging them to pursue further options within the IT sector.
It also aims to recruit young people as volunteers to work with older people to teach them IT skills. As a result, it is hoped they will help break down barriers between the young and the elderly in the city.
* For information about the award, visit www.unltd.org.uk