My training began in1987, accompanying my 11-year-old son to a beginner’s course with the Traditional Association of Shotokan Karate (TASK) under the instruction of Sensei John van Weenen.
During my time with TASK, I achieved Ni Dan (2nd Dan) and whilst at 1st kyu level, I was asked by Sensei van Weenen to become the Association Secretary, which at the time had approximately 1400 students. In September 1992, together with a fellow Sho Dan, Des Cooper, we opened our own club in the village of Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire, with an average student number of 30.Also, in the early part of 1992, I had a heavy involvement in the first of TASK’s many relief convoys to Albania. My responsibility was the arrangement of the warehousing facilities, packing, storage, transport and final loading of a convoy of 24 32-tonne articulated trucks.
Following a three year break due to pressures of running a small business, my training recommenced in 1997 when I decided to join CFTS at their Kempston Dojo under the instruction of Sensei Andy Kidby – 7th Dan. It was here in a more relaxed and non-political environment that my passion for karate was rekindled and in April 1998, I was awarded my San Dan (3rd Dan) grade.
In February 2002 I established my own club in Clapham, Bedfordshire that has gradually grown from an initial 8 beginners and guests to a regular attendance by 35 students of all grades and abilities. During those 10 years, many students have come and gone but a regular nucleus of committed and loyal karateka remain who have now become senior members of the Club. We have two 2nd Dans, one 1st Dan and 6 first kyus assisting with the development of the junior grades.
My Yon Dan (4th) grade was awarded in April 2004 followed by a Go Dan (5th) achievement in May 2011.
Future Development in Relation to Karate
I see my future development in Karate continuing with the running of the Clapham Karate Club, continually improving my teaching abilities and techniques to ensure my students progress their own Karate career and fulfil their long-term ambitions. To this end, my own training is aimed at continual improvement.