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Andrew Parker

I have always had an interest in Martial Arts; however gaining access and information on styles was limited. Judo is where I began before I realised it was not for me. At University I was introduced to Karate which I found more appealing.

I also became aware of the need to check carefully the credentials of any club and its affiliation. When I relocated to Bedford in 1983, a colleague at work, then secretary for TASK, introduced me to Shotokan. I trained up until 1987 at brown belt level, when due to work changes had to give up for a while.

I returned to TASK in 1993, training at a local Club in Sharnbrook started in 1991 by Sensei McClagish and graded Shodan in March 1996. I eventually took over the club and started my instructor's career in September 1998.

Work and travel prevented grading to Nidan in 1999, but did allow me to gain international experience training in a related Shorin-ryu style. Training under a 9th Dan Japanese Master and 7th and 5th Dan native Americans was very educational.

Having gained a deeper understanding of the Shotokan system and being able to compare it to other styles, I was able to define what I wished to achieve personally from my training and as an instructor.

This decision was easily summarised in two parts: the traditional aspect of the style and self defence, developing Jujtisu elements found in Kata, but refined to a practical level for ease of use by students.

Given these factors and with difficulties of available training times in TASK made advancement difficult. As luck would have it, Sensei McClagish had moved to CFTS, having run some classes for us, he established an introduction for us to meet with Sensei Kidby.

After attending some special courses and training sessions and understanding of the aims of CFTS, we found a mutual liking. In November 2002 the Riseley Club and its instructors joined CFTS. I graded Nidan in October 2002.

CFTS has a lot of energy as an association. It also has a moral and ethical duty to serve its members. Part of this is to ensure instructors are fully qualified and insured under the auspices of the EKGB.

The Riseley Karate Club, started in 1991, many of its original members have achieved seniority. We are lucky to have a cross section of ages, genders and grades. CFTS places an emphasis on dedicated training, but equally important sociability and having fun; after all to many this is a leisure pursuit and pastime and everyone has their own reasons for training.


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