I started training with the KUGB in April 1985 at Picton SKC under my ongoing mentor, Sensei Jim Brennan. From the outset I have been fortunate enough to train under Sensei Brennan at several previous and current KUGB SKC held dojos and continue to this day alongside training on occasions at the world renowned Liverpool Red Triangle SKC with other senior instructors.
There has always been a historic trend and tradition of pursuing self-defence disciplines, such as boxing, ju jitsu, karate in addition to highly active sports that permeate throughout my family and so naturally I felt the need the to channel my passions and energies into an active challenging pursuit.
My initial interests in the martial arts began within Goju Ryu karate under Sensei’s Bob Christian and Bob Honeyball, then onto Ju Jitsu under Sensei’s Jim Robinson and Ronnie Colwell, which ran in conjunction with my football career plans. Following a significant ankle injury, which ended a promising professional football career, I became strongly interested in Shotokan Karate, which my elder brother was practicing at the time. After introduction to Sensei Brennan I have never looked back, finding the challenge, discipline and style both fascinating and appropriate to my requirements.
I currently run three karate clubs, passing the knowledge down to my students that has been instilled in me by my Sensei and other past and present top KUGB and former JKA instructors, including our Chief Instructor Sensei Sherry and the late great master Sensei Enoeda. It is of note to and mention that Sensei’s Poynton and F. Brennan have also been influential in my development and success to date.
Throughout my ongoing years in karate training commencing relatively late, I have been fortunate to compete with relative success in numerous team and individual kumite events initially driven when unexpectedly becoming third in the North of England Karate Championships individual senior event in my very first competition as a yellow belt. This surprise outcome ignited a passion to train harder and pursue a course for further achievements which to some degree have been attained in numerous competitions over the years.
Following my retirement from competition and the opening of my first club with encouragement from my Sensei Jim Brennan has proved immensely rewarding. Specifically, I have enjoyed assisting my own students to develop and attain their own very high successes over a sustained period of time at local, regional and national levels.
Furthermore, I was very proud to learn after some historic research undertaken by the Guinness Book of Records that my family had a probable record at that time with having achieved up to seven black belts within the same family which I am glad was within the KUGB. On a personal note, I am pleased to have encouraged my three children and godson of achieving various Dan grade levels and of three of the seven representing the KUGB at international level at various stages throughout.
Alongside training and teaching I enjoy meeting old and new karateka at courses and competitions and assisting in officiating in the capacity as a Judge/Referee which I have been engaged in from around 1992.
There is so much to learn and absorb when striving for perfection in karate which requires many years of diligent study and fortitude that may be adapted to one’s own needs as you go along but even now I still feel I am still scratching the surface of the higher echelons of it all. However, I will endeavour to continue onwards in the journey that I am still passionate about and am still really enjoying, as long as I am able.