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Dan Young

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

I began karate in 2000 when a friend and I went to a beginner’s course at Hazeldene Lower School in Bedford ran by the Association of Traditional Shotokan Karate under the instruction of Sensei Kevin Stark. After the beginner’s course we both left but, I still wanted to do karate and after a while I came across CFTS’s Brickhill Club at the time ran by Sensei’s Andy Woods and Eamon Kugenieks and my training resumed.

Karate for me has also been a family thing, with my dad returning to karate when I was a purple belt after a 16 year break! My 2 younger cousins and my younger sister also trained for a period of time. Having progressed through the kyu grades I was invited to grade for my Shodan and in March 2007 I successfully graded for Shodan, in October 2011 I graded for Nidan and in October 2016 I passed Sandan, which was always my life long target grade. Then, in 2022 I was invited to grade for Yondan and I passed this in June.

Throughout my time in CFTS I have tried to train as much as possible attending Brickhill, Clapham/Oakley, Newport Pagnell and Kempston clubs. My thanks must go to Sensei Saunders, Renshi Kidby and Shihan McClagish for helping me get to where I am today in my karate.

One of the biggest changes in my karate career occurred towards the end of 2012, when Sensei Saunders decided to step back from teaching and he handed Brickhill Club over to me. At the start of 2021 Renshi Kidby handed Kempston Club over to me after a period of me being his assistant instructor. I have and still do thoroughly enjoy teaching at both clubs on a weekly basis.

The COVID Pandemic presented its challenges, none more so than with training and whilst time for personal training was easily found, access to lessons for students to train and learn was not! I found this app, that at the time I’m sure many reading had not heard of… Zoom and that became the way to train. Between April 2020 and May 2021, I delivered 200 Zoom lessons ranging from lower kyu grade right through to brown and black belt, pad work and fitness sessions. This also allowed us to maintain contact with students and friends when the world would not let us. In this time I was able to train with people from across the world and am looking forward to hopefully one day being able to train with them.

As most know, I am a massive fan of bunkai, understanding of kata and the principles they teach. Over the years, I have been fortunate to train with a host of world renowned practical bunkai instructors, including; Iain Abernethy, Andi Kidd, Don Came, Leigh Simms among many others. In 2019, I was lucky enough to train extensively under John Titchen of DART and Kyohan Karate in his Pinan Flow System methods.

As for the future, my aims are simple – keep training, keep teaching and keep learning more about what our Art has to offer.


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