When he was a teenager Graham had a fascination with martial arts and initially tried judo. In 1973, along with some friends, he attended the local YMCA where South Shields Karate Club was based and trained under instructor Ken Smith 2nd Dan. Whilst at the South Shields club he met and trained with his current instructor, John Thompson 4th dan, who has had a big influence on his karate development.
Graham started to enter competitions having various successes in both kata and kumite. Following this he was invited onto and represented the Northern Region Squad. This was a very strong squad with fighters from Leeds, Halewood, Kirkdale, and York, amongst others.
Graham also started to train with Owen Murray 6th Dan at Sunderland Sendai and Owen had a huge impact on his kumite and tournament success. Further success brought an invitation to train on the KUGB England squad where he trained for many years. The squad at that time included F Brennan, R Christopher, G Best, G Harford, E Hall, R Williams, I Roberts. Under the watchful eyes of Sensei Sherry and Sensei Enoeda this was, without doubt, his most physical and mentally demanding training.
• training and representing KUGB England Squad
• winning KUGB National team kumite event with Sunderland Sendai
• winning KUGB Northern regions senior individual kumite event 3 times
Graham also trained in jujitsu for many years gaining 1st Dan.
He continues to challenge himself and develop his martial art skills.