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Dennis Bigsby

I started karate in 1996 after 3 years boxing. I wanted a fresh new challenge. I looked around visiting other possible martial arts clubs in Milton Keynes. I looked at most fighting arts that were available at the time such as kick-boxing, Tae-Kwondo and even Judo! However none of these really appealed to me, but when I walked in to the Bletchley Leisure Centre in the Autumn of 1996 I saw Sensei Kidby teaching. It looked like what I was looking for and thought it looked like fun. After a little while of watching me watching him, Sensei encouraged me to take off my shoes and socks and join in, this is where it all started.

I went through the grades the same as any other Karateka, and was finally ready for my first Dan grade (Shodan). I took this in October 2000; it was a very hard grading, but the feeling of achievement when the Executive told me I had passed was unexplainable.

I have entered our own C.F.T.S competitions over the years and in 1999 my kumite team came joint 3rd and I came 2nd in the high grade kata, then in 2001 my kumite team came 2nd.

I have attended many courses in my time in karate, one of which was a residential course at a holiday camp in Sussex. This was superb as it opened my eyes to all of the martial arts. The most enjoyable part of the week was training with the Okinawan Sensei’s (Gakiya Yoshiaki) and (Hokama Tetsuhiro) both 8th Dans.

I took my Nidan grading in April 2003, this too was a hard grading, not for the faint hearted. Having completed it and feeling exhausted I again felt as I had after taking shodan. The feeling of achievement is unexplainable. Unless you have been through a senior grading it is not possible to understand. It is the culmination of all those months and years of training down the dojo and of endless hours of personal practice trying to not only remember the moves but to get them right.

Having recently qualified as an EKGB registered coach and instructor I have opened my own Karate club (13th March 2004) in Newton Longville, which I thoroughly enjoy and believe my students do also.

I still train two or three times a week and teach on a Saturday morning and love it just as much as the first day I walked in to the dojo, even now every training session I attend I walk away learning something new. Karate has effected me in many ways. It has changed the way I look at life and at other people giving me more tolerance, control and restraint.

I have entered my students and myself into various competitions in the last two years (my students have done better than I) with 1 first place and a third in the recent CFTS competition, and in the outer federation competition hosted by Sensei Roy Richards my students came away with no less than four trophies - a day I was proud to be a Sensei.

I gained my 3rd Dan grade – Sandan on the 29th September 2007, this was a very demanding grading and with that grading has bigger responsibilities to which I have rose to the challenge and have enjoyed every minute.

I started Teaching again in February 2012 at Wolverton Dojo after a long spell of not teaching due to work commitments. Myself and my assistant Ryan Sigward have started building Wolverton Dojo back up and we are both enjoying teaching these students and long may it last.

We have been lucky enough to have had lots of Instructors come in from other styles and federations that have given us there time for courses, I personally thought that the course delivered by Sensei Donovan Slue was exceptional as we also started to learn all kumite rules and flagging along with refereeing. A great course (not that all others were not great, this one just sticks in my mind more than the others).

As Funakoshi said “Karate is like hot water, it cools down if you do not keep heating it”. So I hope to keep my karate boiling for a long while yet!


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