The Noughties to Present

doug_61_headkickThe Next Decade to the Present Day

This decade started as the last one left off, with Doug continuing to officiate at the European Senior Champs in Turkey and European Junior Champs in Cyprus and Germany, the World Senior Champs in Germany and World Junior Champs in Greece and France.

An ancient Philisopher Sophocles (B.C. 495-406) claimed that ‘to be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task’. Apparently its true, as Doug was Awarded his 7th Dan Black Belt by the WKF for his international achievements in karate and the continuing work he does for Martial Arts.

Putting back into the club he has strived to create over the decades, the recent years have seen him working with the senior club instructors to revise the Chojinkai Grading Syllabus, introducing new Ippon Gumite (pre-arranged sparring techniques). Supporting this required a rework of the successful “The Master Class Series” Wado Ryu training videos. They have been completely re-filmed into three volumes making them the most Comprehensive Instructional DVD Programmes available to date.

Doug was elected to EKGB Management Committee and the Board of Directors of EKGB Ltd, with specific responsibility for Refereeing in 2000 and later Regional Development.

2002 also saw the release of the highly acclaimed “Heroes & Legends of British Karate” video and DVD, the England National Coach, Ticky Donovan OBE wrote to Doug “You have made so much history with this tape that the younger generation can see for themselves, instead of only being told about it. You and your company have made such a big contribution to British Karate that will live on for a long time” 2004 saw the re-structuring of VMA and the formation VMA Distribution: a sister company to VMA International, to market the huge range of VMA video programmes on DVD. Doug is now semi-retired from these businesses, using his decades of training to act in the role of Advisor. International Refereeing continued at European and World events in Mexico, Spain and Cyprus.

On the advice from Sport England, the role of the EKGB as the governing body was transferred to Karate England and Doug was very much involved in setting this up in 2005, but did not stand for election to the new board. Unfortunately, Karate England went into liquidation after 18 months. This was a very disappointing time for karate in England and for Doug personally, however, he was to become a Founder Member of the new Governing Body in 2007, the English Karate Federation. The EKF has direct affiliation to the British Karate Federation and also full membership and the backing of the World Karate Federation.

With the formation of the EKF European Regional Championships in 2003, Doug served on the Referee Council and acted as a Tatami chief referee for the championships in Spain and subsequent events in Bratislava, Germany and France until his retirement from international refereeing in 2007. So after an international refereeing career spanning 21 years, visiting over 30 different countries and officiating at over 50 European and World Championships, Doug “hung up his international whistle”. He was awarded a Gold Lapel Pin by the EKF/WKF recognising over 20 years of International Officiating.

2007 also saw the celebration of 40 years in Karate and this was marked with special profiles in Martial Arts Illustrated (READ HERE) and Combat Magazines (READ HERE). The photo at the head of this section & above was taken in November 2007, 40 years after the photo shown in the 60’s biography section.

With many fond memories of his time teaching weekday evenings and most weekends, he retired from teaching regularly at the clubs. The very competent and highly qualified Senior Instructors had now taking on this mantle, but continued teaching from time to time, conducting gradings as the Chief Instructor. His main organisational role then being that of President of the British Karate Do Chojinkai, running the Association together with his wife Rita in her role as the Secretary & Registrar.

2008 saw his appointment to the EKF Senior Grading Panel & then in June 2009, the Board of Governing Body for Karate in England approved his promotion to 8th Dan Black Belt. This was later endorsed by the WKF, thus acknowledging his 40 years plus training and teaching Karate and a very successful National and International Refereeing Career.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASeptember 2009 also saw him step down from the English and British Refereeing Commission concluding a domestic refereeing career spanning over 30 years. Opposite is his National Referee Retirement Presentation by BKF President Terry Connell.

2014 saw the 40th Anniversary of the Chojinkai Karate Clubs that started in Carlisle in October 1974. The year had many celebrations with 40th Annual Summer Course in Tenerife & Social trip to Las Vegas, 40th Anniversary Championships in October & the conclusion was a Dinner Presentation Evening in Carlisle when Sensei James presented 34 Appreciation Awards to Senior & Assistant Instructors.

At the WKF World Championship Referees Briefing in Germany, on the same weekend as the 40th Chojinkai Anniversary Dinner, Sensei James was honoured with his own Appreciation Award from the WKF President Antonio Espinos – “In recognition of over 20 years of excellence in refereeing and loyal dedication to the growth and development of the WKF Karate-Do”.  The Award was accepted on his behalf by the EKF Chief Referee, Dale Gamble & was presented to him at the English Senior Championships in April 2015.

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At the March 2016 Martial Arts Illustrated HALL OF FAME AWARDS, Doug was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of over 50 years in Karate – Photo with former World Champions Davy Coulter MBE & Molly Samuel MBE

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In April 2017 Doug handed over the running the Clubs & the Chojinkai Karate Association to the 9 Clubs Head Instructors. He remains President, utilising the experience he gained from a lifetime in Karate & is still very much a ‘hands on’ Chief Instructor of Chojinkai Karate, maintaining high standards by teaching at Chojinkai Technical & Residential Courses, Gasshuku’s & Senior Brown/Black Belt Grading Courses.