My father who was a capable and enthusiastic boxer first established
my introduction into the martial world at a very young age. This progressed
on to a stint at a judo club where I learnt the basic rules of the oriental
way. This in turn led me to my first foray into the world of karate
where a bond was established that has lasted to this day.
My life-style for the next few years excluded me from regular training
but a change occurred when a life long friend, Sensei George Chaplin,
returned from a long stay in the Far East with a 4th kyu belt in Uechi
Ryu karate. I was hooked again.
I was introduced to a dojo in Essex run by Sensei Ron Ship. In just
four years and due to hard work and extra curricular instruction by
my friend George I took and passed my Shodan (1st Degree Black belt).
This was taken in the presence of a visiting Okinawan, Kinjo Sensei.
In 1988 I set up my first club at Brian Jacks’ Fitness Centre
with my good friend and training partner from Mr Ship’s, Derek
I then continued to study our system by spending as much time and money
as my life (and wife) would allow chasing “knowledge”. I
trained in Hong Kong with Sensei Robert Campbell 8th Dan and George
who had returned to be Robert’s senior instructor. I had a visit
to the USA and trained with Sensei Alan Dollar 7th Dan, and again in
France with Sensei Takimi Takayasu 7th Dan both from Mr Shinjo’s
school in Okinawa.
I have also continued to further my knowledge outside of the system
that I have chosen as my mainstay. I trained with Jerry Hobbs in jujitsu
for over two years, I trained with Jimmy Shortt in weapons. I have been
involved with C.O.D.A (Combined Oriental & Defendu Arts) founded
by Pete Robbins, and S.T.A.B (same pedigree) for over ten years. I studied
the weapons system of Kinjo Sensei, Hozen Shin Kan, and have attended
numerous one day courses with various masters including Hokama Sensei
and Higaonna Sensei.
In the early spring of 2003 I finally visited the karate homeland of
Okinawa. I trained hard and diligently for over a month with the best
instructors in the system. I had kata corrected by Takara Sensei 10th
Dan, kumite corrected by Takamiyagi Sensei 9th Dan, sparring checked
by Nakamatsu Sensei 8th Dan and so it goes on, one to one instruction
with the best. The visit culminated in my being invited to grade for
5th degree black belt. Godan, no less, in the home of karate and alongside
my friend George who had introduced me to karate in my father’s
garage some twenty years before. We both passed a very tough test in
front of a formal board of the Uechi Ryu Association. I was also awarded
for my efforts and teaching ability a Shihan or Master Instructors Certificate.
I am a member of
the English Karate Governing Body. I am a member of OkiKuKai Okinawa.