He took up karate after he lost his left hand in an industrial accident ten months previously which left him feeling vulnerable.
He had a very successful competition career, the highlights of which were:
- 1980 – Silver Shotokan Cup
- 1981 – Bronze Shotokan Cup
- 1981 – Gold European Championships, England
- 1982 – Gold European Championships, Austria
- 1983 – Silver Crystal Palace KUGB Nationals
- 1984 – Member of the team competing against the Japanese at Crystal Palace
- 1984 – Bronze World Championships, Germany
- 1991 – Captained the team which won the KUGB Nationals
In 1994 he received an MBE at Buckingham Palace partly because of the month he spent in Sierra Leone, West Africa, teaching Karate to both able and disabled people.
He found Sensei Eneoda very inspirational during his five years in the squad, especially because of his fighting spirit, which he tried to emulate.
Owen is teaching at Sendai Newcastle and various clubs in the area. He has his personal Dojo where he teaches private lessons.
He runs his own company providing personal safety for lone workers and hospital staff. He also teaches anti-bullying techniques to children in local schools.