It has been four years since we spoke to then Sensei Stuart I have managed to catch up with him to find out how the Chelmsford Dojo is going and of course Sensei himself.
Firstly may I congratulate you on your 5th Dan promotion truly a mile stone for you in your Karate career how do you feel about that?
I feel very honoured to have been presented with my 5th Dan from Hanshi Steve Arneil there has only been sixteen 5th Dans awarded by Hanshi to BKK students in forty five years so to be one of those is very special. I have always trained and Instructed Kyokushin Karate because it is my passion I still feel the same now as I did thirty six years ago when I was a white belt.
As we know Kyokushin grades are very hard to get can you tell our readers how long you have been each of your grades?
Not too sure If I can remember that far back,but here goes…!
1974 was when I started so the kyu grades were awarded to me from then up to 1980.
I got my 1st Dan in 1981,my 2nd Dan in 1984 there were not many third Dans in the BKK at that time so to be a second Dan was a very High grade then.I was coming to end of fighting Knockdown at this time and focussed on Refereeing and of course the Chelmsford Dojo.
1992 was when I was awarded my 3rd Dan I then achieved my 4th Dan in 2002 then my 5th Dan in 2010.
Wow that has made my head spin to here of how long it was between your Dan gradings I read where Students from other styles get a Dan promotion every two years what do think of that?
tI cannot really comment on that but I would like tell Kyokushin Students at any Level if you joined Kyokushin to just get gradings you picked the wrong style gradings are fine they give the student a sense of achievement but don’t make that the sole reason to train too many students train until they get their black belt then leave. Train for the sake of training that’s my advise.
Good advice indeed Shihan How is your Training going and have you been to any over seas Tournaments of late.
My Training is going very well I still run,work out at the gym and keep my self in good condition I started playing Golf with Sanpai Aaron mainly to build up the Muscle in my leg after my Hip operation.As a sport it is the most frustrating thing I have done but I am improving…..! I did my 18th Summer Camp this year at Felsted School and loved every minute of it I have pledged to do 20 that will bring me round to 55 years of age then we will see after that.I often get a Black belt to instruct at the Dojo while I train in the Line I am slowing down a bit but I will go as long as I can…!
I was lucky enough to go to Hungary in 2009 to see the Open Kyokushin Knockdown Tournament where there was over 450 fighters from around 90 countries there was no political spin on this just Kyokushin Karateka all getting together to fight in a Tournament.Regardless of what organisation they belonged to the Kyokushin spirit was there to see,the fighting was out standing there may be plans to do one again in 2011 and who knows the whole Kyokushin Brother/Sister hood may be joined up as one in the years to come.
How is the IFK and BKK progressing in the present climate.?
They are both doing very well the numbers of students like most Karate styles have dropped but there is a very strong hard core of students that keep them both going.
We had a very successful IFK World Kata Tournament in Switzerland this year and have a IFK Junior Clicker World Tournament in Crawley in 2011. Our BKK Tournaments are very successful through out the year so all is good.
Lastly Shihan How is the Chelmsford Dojo Going.
The Chelmsford Dojo is going very well the number of students is growing steadily we celebrate the clubs 30th anniversary in 2011 that is a huge mile stone for myself and the club.We plan to do a few things the mark this so keep reading the site.A Karate club only exists if there are Students in it that’s self explanatory I am very fortunate to have great supports of the Dojo both with the Students and parents who give up their time to the club.It would be great to take the club through the next 30 years by then I may have stopped training myself but some how I doubt it….!
Thankyou very much for this Shihan I hope the Readers will enjoy it as much as I have with talking to you Osu…..!
See past interviews HERE