Steve started training in 1973 at Newcastle Under Lyme. A club was opening at the end of the road, and a friend of his ‘dragged’ him down to see what it was all about. There were a lot of coloured grades, that turned up from Keele Univer- sity to support the opening night. A purple belt caught his eye and he remembers thinking that his aim was to reach this standard. His Sensei at the time told him he ‘would never achieve Shodan’; this kickstarted his inner determination.
His kyu gradings were all with Sensei Poynton. The rst one he remembers vividly as he forgot his kata and was made me repeat it on his own.
As a 1st kyu, he was selected for the Central Region Team and was the only brown belt in the grand slam. This was a fantastic experience. It motivated him to compete in several competitions where he gained more experience before taking Shodan.
He took Shodan in 1978 with Sensei Enoeda and Sensei Sherry, where he witnessed Sensei Brennan and Sensei Harford taking Nidan. This made him realise that this was only the beginning of a long and exciting journey.
He continued to compete in the National and Regional Compe- titions, where he reached numerous nals in individual and team kata and kumite. Due to family and work commitments, it was to be 1982 before he was to take and pass Nidan with Sensei Sherry. In September 1986, he went on a week’s course to Crystal Palace, and trained early mornings with Sensei Enoeda on the tennis courts. There was also two further training sessions each day with the rest of the Japanese instructors. At the end of the week he took and passed Sandan.
Inspired by Sensei Enoeda, he continued to attend as many of the courses as he could. In the same year of taking Sandan, he was to take over the role as Chief Instructor at his club.
It was around this time where he produced his most successful student. Karl Dambok, who became the EKB grand champion and also won numerous competitions. In 1992, sadly his mother passed away. She and his family had always been supportive of his Karate. Later that same year, he again attended the week’s course at Crystal Palace with Sensei Enoeda, where, in honour of his mother he took and passed Yondan. He always remembers Sensei Enoeda pushing his back to lengthen a stretch. His body screamed yet he was determined to show no pain. Sensei Enoeda smiled and his words with a pat on the back were ‘good old soldier’. This was to be his last grading under Sensei Enoeda, a great Karateka and inspiration to all, who is sadly missed.
He continued to train and teach at his club in Newcastle, but also attended as often as he could at the Liverpool Red Trian- gle club under the supervision of Sensei Poynton.
In 2007, he took and passed Godan at Chester eld with Sensei Sherry and Sensei Poynton. Since then he has been a regular member of the Red Triangle and attends most Mondays.
In April 2016, he was successful at taking Rokudan at Chester- eld with Sensei Sherry, Poynton and Brennan. It is an honour for him to be a part of such an exceptional organ- isation and to have and still be training with so many inspira- tional instructors that are the heart of the KUGB.
He wishes to extend special thanks to the late and great Sensei Enoeda., to Sensei Sherry and Sensei Brennan and a big thank you to Sensei Poynton who has been his mentor throughout his entire Karate journey.