Dave Hazard Interview 2003

This interview was recorded in July 2003 Dave Hazard is a living legend in Shotokan Karate.  He is typical of the depth of quality contained within the English Karate Governing Body.  One of the first to start the Art in the late 60’s, training at the famous Blackfriars Dojo under the late Enoeda Sensei, Dave was one of the first English Instructors to up sticks and make the journey to Japan to train at the Honbu Dojo of the Japan Karate Association, returning a year later as a Sandan graded by the late Nakayama Sensei, head of Shotokan Karate. An … Continue reading Dave Hazard Interview 2003

Peter Spanton Interview 2003

This Interview was conducted in 2003. I think it’s important for all Martial Artists to know what their roots are.  Month by month in this column I’ve been building up a picture of the people who were there at the birth of Karate in England.  Most Karateka will be able to trace their roots back to this handful of people.  It’s no coincidence that they are all members of one Governing Body, properly named The English Karate Governing Body. Peter Spanton was there from the start.  One of the first students of Tatsuo Suzuki at the Honbu Dojo in Clapham … Continue reading Peter Spanton Interview 2003

Mick Gooch Interview 2003

This interview was published in January 2003 We need experienced Martial Artists to stay around and help the younger generation; far too many of them fade away and either stop training and teaching altogether or simply end up training on their own.  Therefore I was very happy to see Mick Gooch in fine form after a 14 year absence. Mick Gooch is one of those Kyokushin “names” from the Medway towns in Kent, along with Paul and Terry Owen, Dennis Jones and Norman King, Mick bought the Kyokushinkai style of Karate to Chatham.  Mick is a natural, easy going, likeable … Continue reading Mick Gooch Interview 2003

Mick Billman Interview 2003

This interview was conducted in 2003. Mick Billman is one of those names that is well known in the higher echelons of the Karate world and particularly at National, European and World levels.  He has tirelessly served the English Karate Governing Body on the Technical and Executive Committees for many years and has now recently also been elected on to the Management Board of the restructured English Karate Governing Body Ltd. Mick sits on the Technical Committee for Europe and has done a sterling job in getting all our English representatives known and acknowledged at European and World level.  His … Continue reading Mick Billman Interview 2003

Yoshinobu Ohta 2003 Interview

This interview was published in 2003 Whenever anyone spoke about Yoshinobu Ohta to me, they always spoke well of him. He was always quoted as being “all right’ or “a nice guy” and his Karate was always described as “good quality”.  He began Shotokan Karate at High School in 1974 and graduated from the famous Takushoku University that lists former students such as Nakayama and Enoeda. A talent such as his could only find it’s way to the JKA Honbu. Luckily for Shotokan Karate in this country, Ohta Sensei came to England in 1982 to assist Enoeda Sensei and has … Continue reading Yoshinobu Ohta 2003 Interview

Julian Dale – Eagle Claw

This interview was conducted in 2008 –  Eagle Claw Kung Fu is one of those styles that you could easily build a martial arts movie about.  It has the lineage and history that any martial artist will enjoy reading.  The words Kung Fu mean ‘time and effort’ and Julian Dale has certainly put in the time and effort required to attain a level of mastery in the art.  He has sought out the top instructors in the Eagle Claw lineage and travelled to get the required instruction from them. His story along with that of Eagle Claw makes fascinating reading… … Continue reading Julian Dale – Eagle Claw

Steve Arneil – Kyokushinkai Legend

This interview was conducted in the year 2000… I have known of Steve Arniel since the 1960’s and personally for some years.  I have attended the Kyokushinkai tournaments since the beginning, many of them as a V.I.P guest and had the honour of awarding Steve the “man of the year” award for “Traditional Karate” magazine at one of those tournaments. Steve is one of the most senior, if not the most senior Karateka in Great Britain.  He holds the prestigious grade of 8th Dan and the respected title of Hanshi.  He has held the respect and loyalty of those close … Continue reading Steve Arneil – Kyokushinkai Legend

Wado Ryu Training in the ’60’s

Just found this on my computer.  It’s a great insight into the early days of Karate in London.  I asked my older brother years ago what it was like training with the first Wado Ryu Japanese Instructors that came to the UK in the 1960’s, this is what he sent me… “My interest in the martial arts was quite practical, at school I used to get involved in a fight about once a month, mainly due to my stubborn refusal to fit into the strict pecking order that operated there. Those more aggressive and athletic would “put me in my … Continue reading Wado Ryu Training in the ’60’s

Toru Takamizawa (1942 – 1998)

“Sometimes I feel like Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels, I don’t belong anywhere. In the UK I’m still seen as a foreigner – and in Japan I’m not considered to be Japanese because I married an English girl.” Toru Takamizawa had his dark moments. The fact is that the little people of Lilliput saw Gulliver as a giant but Toru had the reverse, he was always conscious of his diminutive size here in the West. In fact he was a giant in the Art of Karate, he was the most intelligent, technical, fluid, precise and powerful Japanese Martial Artist that I … Continue reading Toru Takamizawa (1942 – 1998)