The Eighties

11/08/2014 at 8:55 pm
The Eighties

Double Gold presentation by Sensei Toru Takamizawa & Sparring Demo with Eugene Codrington at 1980 Tera Nationals.

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.   His Clubs were far & wide covering Cumbria & North East, so he decided to re-brand the clubs to bring under one banner & “Chojinkai Karate” was born.


1980 – the first course in Carlisle under the ‘Chojinkai’ banner, front row l to r, Tim Bird, Graham Solon, Tom Armstrong (emigrated to Perth, Australia), Ged Carr, Doug, Jim Thompson, Steve Greenwood, Richard Bird.

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 with 5th Annual Cumbria Open Karate Championships in Carlisle and then Doug went on to found the Newcastle Upon Tyne Open Championships at the Lightfoot Stadium, Walker.

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.

I early/mid 80’s he opened a full time professional dojo & martial arts retail shop in Newcastle – Chojin Martial Artsphoto with Club Instructor Paul Jackson then 2nd Dan (Newcastle Club first Black Belt).

BELOW: 1983 Summer Course movie clip @ Prestatyn Sands, North Wales

BELOW: 1983 Summer Course @ Prestatyn with Rita, Michael, Doug, Steven.

BELOW: 1985 Summer Course @ Skegness – front row, l to r, Simon Crow 1st Dan (Morpeth Club first Black Belt), Ian McCranor 3rd Dan (Chojinkai Coventry affiliated Club), Doug, Steve Byfield (Suzuki 3rd Dan now with Chojinkai Newcastle), Robert Toole 2nd Dan, Ian Wood 1st Dan.

In 1983 he qualified with the English Governing Body as a National Judge status under Brian Smith. Doug retired from competing in Karate at the age of 35 to concentrate on & developing competition officiating.

He was awarded 4th Dan, endorsed by the World Governing Body WUKO and achieved National Referee in 1984 & his first International qualification in 1986, allowing him to Judge at the European Senior Champs in Spain.

European Judge in Madrid in 1986.

Perth Australia Course 1986 & met up with former Carlisle student Tom Armstrong

Doug was a founding member & Chief Referee of the British Karate Grand Prix along 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.

1986 Summer Course at Minehead – Son Michael (11) 2nd left front row & Son Steven (13) 2nd right back row – next to Doug is Instructor Simon Crow 3rd Dan.

1987 Summer Course at Ayr – Front Row l to r – Andy Goodwin 1st Dan, Jon Little 1st Dan, Simon Crow 3rd Dan, Doug, Steve Chaplow 1st Dan (Kendal Club first Black Belt), Ian Abernethy 1st Dan (Cockermouth Club first Black Belt).

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 Ryu 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 European and the WUKO World Championships and Chojinkai continued to flourish.

Fighters Magazine

Cover photo & main feature in 1988 Fighters Magazine, with Hexham & Prudhoe Instructor Jimmy Hague, then 3rd Dan (Hexham Club first Black Belt)

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

1989 Cumbria Open Karate Championships – VMA Tournament Report

Link to The Nineties –>

Why Learn Karate

11/08/2014 at 3:20 pm
Self Defense

Karate is one of the most efficient and effective self-defense systems ever developed. Initially to satisfy an ancient need for self-preservation, if properly taught by qualified instructors, karate can significantly increase your defensive skills and may one day save your life.

The need for self defense comes from many quarters and no more so than in todays increasingly violent society, when confronted it is natural to feel fear. With training you will have the ability to stand up for and defend yourself on both a physical and mental level. Whether your 16 or 60, we can help you be more prepared to defend yourself against an attacker. Children and adults alike can learn to beat the bully at their own game, holding their head up high and facing each day with less fear.

Exercise and Health

The experience of thousands of karate practitioners worldwide demonstrates karate has all the advantages of aerobic exercises. Chojinkai Karate training includes exercises and warm-ups designed to work the large muscle groups such as triceps or quadriceps and while you dont have to be fit to start, you will usually become fit over time. You will probably lose weight and increase muscle tone and definition as you grow fitter. A psychological spin off tends to be an increase in confidence in everyday life.

Karate is an excellent stress relieving tool and is a great way to wind down from todays hectic lifestyles. Flexible class times and sympathetic, patient instructors help to make it a sport suitable for everyone regardless of ability.

Confidence, a sense of well-being, and a more positive outlook toward life in general are among the many psychological benefits of karate practice.

The Social Thing

Karate is quite a group activity. You will meet people who share at least one of your interests, the karate itself! The shared demands of training can build friendship and camaraderie that lasts for years.

The club has social events and special free training events designed specifically to bring martial artists together to help build skills and acquire new friends.

Finding the Right Club

It’s more important to find the right club or school and teachers than it is to choose a particular style. Here are some guidelines for evaluating a school:

  • The school should let you and in fact should encourage you to observe a class, even take a free class or two.
  • The instructors should be unfailingly polite, respectful, and cheerful to the students.
  • Classes should look organized, with instruction appearing to follow a lesson plan.
  • Students should behave respectfully and attentively at all times, and should continue their respectful behavior when class is finished.
  • There should never be any roughhousing or dangerous play, or displays of temper on anyone’s part.
  • If there are women in the class, they should be treated the same as the men, not given constant concessions to their supposed fragility, yet not brutalized or otherwise singled out. (If there are no women (or men), it might be a good idea to ask why.)
  • Young students or children should be given the same respect as adults, and should in turn learn about managing their own discipline and being resepectful to others, helping to equip them for the long years ahead. It should still be fun for them, after all they are still children. The school should therefore have instructors that understand the need to mix exercise and training with educational play.
  • The key to recognizing a good school is to watch how they treat students without natural athletic ability. Do instructors focus only on the stars, leaving the strugglers to muddle along as best they can? Do they point out struggling students for ridicule? Do they appear irritated at questions or requests for help? All of these are trouble signs.

In the end, the best guide is your gut feeling and bearing in mind that you are not stuck for life with your decision. If it turns out that the school just doesn’t suit you, don’t give up on martial arts entirely. Be patient and persistent, and you will find the right place to train. If you do try our style and its not for you, we can even recommend a more appropriate style that may appeal to your specific needs.