(5th Generation & current Bubishi holder)
My introduction to karate came at the age of 15, when I joined a family friend, Barry Evens at the Upland Tavern, who was teaching Kyokushin kai karate. After joining the school, I soon came to realise more often than not, the bigger, heavier, stronger student would gain victory over the smaller weaker students. Feeling there must be more I decided my search must continue.
During these 5 years, Endo Sensei had to return to Japan for a few months. Endo Sensei advised me to look for a Goju School while he was gone. He emphasised that it would not be the same but the experience of kumite would be good for me.
I contacted my local Goju-Kai club and met Sensei Brian Waites, who had studied karate in Japan and reached the level of 3rd Dan. Although very different karate, it was still to be a great opportunity. Sensei Brian was very good technically and he was extremely strong as he was also interested in weightlifting. I practiced karate and weightlifting with Brian Sensei, over a short time I gained weight and strength which was then something I felt I needed. I also studied daily what Endo Sensei had taught me. Brian Sensei assisted Endo Sensei to return to the UK which enabled me to continue my practice with my original mentor.
First visiting to Japan in 1977, Endo Sensei introduced me to Master Ichikawa Sosui. A most profound man, this was a truly amazing life-changing experience. I was now a disciple to his Master; I followed his way of studying karate and traveled to Grandmaster Ichikawa Sosui whenever I could. My teacher emphasised the practice of Kumite would lead to the true understanding of kata. In 1978 I opened my own Dojo in South London. In 1992 I received ‘Bubishi’ and other documents containing amongst other things the Koshudo along with Grand Master Ichikawa’s hand seal authorising my ‘teachers’ license’ of Goju Ryu Karate Do raising to the 7th level of my studies in 2002.