The Nineties

Featherstone Castle Course – early 90’s

Traditional Karate Magazine

Front cover & main feature in Traditional Karate Magazine

Doug started the nineties by being invited to join the English Karate Referees Commission formed by Chief Referee Terry Pottage to help train and develop our English Officials. Martial Arts in the UK was by now a very serious sport and this was reflected by Doug’s outstanding 6th Dan Black Belt award in 1993

He opened Leisure/Fitness Centre in Carlisle ‘City Fit’ with son Steven managing the business and opened new club in Dumfries. Still retaining his interest for Karate in the North of England he founded the Northern Open Championships, near Darlington, Co Durham while allowing his international responsibilities to grow.

He officiated at European Junior Champs and European Senior Champs in Germany, the European Cup of Clubs in Yugoslavia and the Villa-De Madrid International Trophy in Spain.

with Chojinkai Squad Belgium International Cup 1991

Doug achieved a World Judge qualification at the World Senior Championships in Spain. He went on to Officiate at European Senior Championships in Holland, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Tenerife, Yugoslavia and Greece, Malaysia, Germany and South Africa, and the European Junior Championships in Wales, Spain and Turkey.

1993 Summer Course at Minehead

Course demo &  favourite scoring technique – Hook kick

1994 Spain Invitational Zaragoza – front row Eugene Codrington, Dianne Reilly, Trish Duggan.

back row, Doug James, Gavin Foster, Junior Campbell, Greg Francis & Willie Thomas.

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 with Referee Team,- Sun City 1996

The Karate for everyone message was still important resulting in the production of a second training video entitled Beginning Wado Ryu Karate. Doug worked hard to continually develop VMA, along with Tim Eyrl , and expanded production to include all Karate Styles and Martial Arts including work by Hee II Cho, Bill Wallace, Dan Inosanto, Ohtsuka II etc. As the reputation for quality grew so did the list of clients which included instructional and training work for Sports channels on BBC,ITV, SKY as well as catching the atttention of celebrities such as, Comedy Actor Norman Wisdom, Movie Star Jackie Chan, Footballer John Fashanu, World Strongest Man Geoff Capes and World Boxing Champion Barry McGuigan (below).

In 1998 his former Instructor Toru Takamizawa passed away after a short illness at the age of 56.  Toru, as he liked to be addressed, was a pioneer, an innovator & the Sensei that most inspired him to achieve & maintain high technical standards.

Doug concluded the millenium and an excellent martial arts decade with achieving World Referee Qualification at the World Senior Championships in Rio, Brazil in 1998, a fitting tribute to Toru Takamizawa & the Tera Karate Kai, who started him on his 30 year plus, Karate Refereeing career.

with Great Britain Squad in Rio, Copacabana Beach 1998 – achieved World Referee

Spent a lovely day reminiscing with my 1st Instructor

from late 60/early 70’s Fred Kidd aged 80 in 1999