Competition Karate

October 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm


Competition Karate can be an exciting, exhilarating and very rewarding part of your Karate training. It provides a unique testing ground for the martial skills you are striving to perfect by studying karate. The challenge is real, the action is real, the crowds are real and the reward is real. Training for and entering competitions can be regarded as an additional and important activity to enhance your normal training.

Karate is not just about fighting and neither is competition. Competing involves the development of techniques and tactics that allow you to score points over an opponent (assessed by qualified judges), as opposed to actually striking and immobilising a fellow competitor. Strict rules apply in the sparring events to maximise safety and minimise the risk of injury.

Competitions are the sporting arm of the Karate that we promote within the Chojinkai Karate Clubs. It includes the demonstration of KATA (Forms) and KUMITE (Sparring). This can be either as an Individual or as a member of a Team. In fact, many of the Chojinkai Instructors and Students are both current and past champions of competition karate at both local and national level.

One of the main benefits of entering competitions is that you are literally pitting your skills and your wits against opponents every time you go out on the mat to compete. As such, no two bouts or opponents are the same.

These differences add to the challenge and rising to that challenge and conquering your fears can help you in many aspects of life. Winning inevitably makes you feel proud of your achievement and boosts your confidence. You cant win all the time though, so at Chojinkai students are also taught to come to terms with losing and how they can measure that loss in order to improve future performance and learn from the experience. By competing you are taking part in activity that has the added benefits of sharpening your reactions, improving confidence and toning your mental strength.

Its not all about challenge, its good fun too and many of the benefits quite often come from simply taking part, learning to be a good sport and having a good time. If you dont want to compete, its always good fun to sit back and watch.

KATA TRAINING & PRACTICE for competition karate, is normally conducted in the local club with very experienced Club Instructors preparing the students for competition. Getting involved in Kata Competition is easy, all you need to do is ask your instructor who will answer any questions you have and give you more details.

As Chojinkai is a full member of the EKF, it is also possible to train at the England National Squad training sessions, and with the kind of support Chojinkai provides you might one day be good enough to represent your country.

Referees and Judges

Chojinkai have a continuous development programme for potential Judges and Referees where Brown and Black Belts can study to qualify as an Official through the Association Coaching Programme. Again, your local instructor will always be happy to explain how it all works and introduce you to your nearest assessor. The Chojinkai HEAD REFEREE is Gordon Harrison 6th Dan.

The Eighties

August 11, 2014 at 8:55 pm
The Eighties

 Presentation by Sensei Toru Takamizawa

The eighties started well with a Gold Medal in Kata at the Wado and Open Style Tera Karate Kai Nationals. His hard work continued to pay off with a successful grading to 3rd Dan by the Tera Karate Kai Panel in Birmingham in 1980.  As his interest in competition flourished, Doug became more interested in refereeing and trained under Barry Tatlow who was the Tera Karate Kai Chief Referee.

The decade progressed and Doug went on to found the Newcastle Upon Tyne Open Championships at the Lightfoot Stadium, Walker. He also re-named the clubs ‘Chojinkai’ to bring all of the association clubs under one banner.

In 1982 he made the decision to leave the Tera Karate Kai & Toru Takamizawa to form his own association, to concentrate on furthering & developing the Clubs with the foundation of the British Karate Do Chojinkai Association within the English Karate Federation – later named FEKO.

1983 Summer Course – Rita, Michael, Doug, Steven.

He then qualified with the English Governing Body in 1983 and achieved National Judge status under Brian Smith. Doug retired from competing in Karate at the age of 35 to concentrate on & developing competition officiating.

1984 National Referee & 1986 European Judge

He was awarded 4th Dan WUKO and achieved National Referee status with his first International qualification in 1986 allowing him to judge at the European Senior Champs in Spain. Doug became a founding member of the British Karate Grand Prix with Roy Stanhope, Abdu Shaher, Unel Wellington, Victor Charles. Following on from this he was Invited to Australia to teach and formed the International Karate Do Chojinkai, with affiliated Groups in Southern Ireland and Wales.

Perth Australia Course 1986

1986 Summer Course at Minehead – Son Michael (11) 2nd left front row & Son Steven (13) 2nd right back row

The age of Video was firmly upon us, and Doug recorded ‘Wado Ryu Karate’ – ‘Beginner to Black Belt’, Pioneering the first Comprehensive Video on the Wado Curriculum, with Video Producer Tim Eyrl. The success of this top selling training video inspired him to form the Video Martial Arts International Production Company (with business partner Tim Eyrl), more universally known as VMA International. This pioneered the first ‘Magazine on Video’ in 1988.

The company went on to produce Instructional and Training tapes with Ticky Donovan, Terry Pottage, John Richards and other leading British Karate Instructors of the day and became the first company to record Championship Videos of English and British National Karate Events plus the European and World Karate Championships. By the end of the 80’s VMA had been appointed the Official Video Team to both EKU and the WUKO and Chojinkai continued to flourish.

Fighters Magazine

Cover photo & main feature in Fighters Magazine

His international refereeing continued and he went on to Officiate at the European Senior Championships in Italy and Scotland and the European Junior Champs in Spain.

More qualifications followed with an International Referee qualification at the European Championships in Yugoslavia and the prestigious award of a 5th Dan Black Belt under WUKO.

Relaxing at hotel in Titograd 1989 after qualifying as European Referee,

with England Judge Jeff Pearson & National Coach Ticky Donovan

The Sixties

August 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm
The Sixties

Doug Started training at the Middlesbrough Budokan Martial Arts Club in May 1967, aged 20. The Karate style practised was Wado Ryu within the BKA, originally under Chief Instructor Tatsuo Suzuki 7th Dan.

His first interest in the Martial Arts was in 1963 and he trained in Judo at age 16 for about a year. Unfortunately the Club closed and Doug then joined the home town Rugby Club, West Hartlepool and played regularly for the Under 18’s and later for the Senior Teams for a few years.

Doug watched a Karate Demonstration in Hartlepool given by Walter Seaton, then a 1st Dan and was very impressed. How the human body could develop power and skill, with such finesse! This left him with a lasting impression , but did not join because of other commitments. Little did he know at the time, that Karate in the future ,was to have such an influence and affect on the direction of his life.

He went to a local beginner class one evening with a work colleague who was a club member, and was hooked straight away. Fred Kidd 1st Dan was the Budokan Club Instructor, assisted occasionally by John Sparkes also a 1st Dan – fellow students who also went on to be Senior Instructors were Norman Wall, John Gittus and Cliff Richmond

The club also had Judo and Kendo sections which Doug dabbled in on a few occasions – but it was Karate that he was fanatical about. The weekly training routine which was rarely missed was Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the club, then Sunday mornings would be hill running, then back to the dojo for sparring and stretching. Green belt was the first target, then Brown belt!

The visiting Instructor for occasional weekend courses was Peter Spanton, then a Wado Ryu 2nd Dan, who would travel from London and Tommy Morris on a few occasions, then a 3rd Dan Shukokai from Glasgow, who introduced him to alternative Style techniques and a variety of weapons including the Sai, Tonfa and Nunchaku.

Doug met his future wife Rita in 1965 while training to be a draughtsman in Middlesbrough and they were married in September 1967 at Great Ayton, moving to Middlesbrough to live & then later Hutton Rudby.