The Noughties

with Rita & Summer Course at Skegness 2000

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.

mag_cover2001_smallIn 2001 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.

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”

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.

Self Defence Class 2004

2004 saw the re-structuring of VMA and the formation VMA Distribution: a sister company to VMA International, to market the VMA video programmes on DVD.  After about a decade & with the increased popularity of You Tube & iPhones, it was no longer feasible to continue trading & the business closed.

International Refereeing continued at European and World events in Mexico, Spain and Cyprus.

Celebrating 30 years of Chojinkai with over 300 Instructor & Students training together May 2004

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 challenging time for karate in England however, Doug 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.

L to R – 2007 Senior Grading Panel/Instructors – Gordon Harrison, Darren Longstaff, Ray Hind, Paul Jackson, Mark Holding, Doug James, Steve Chaplow, Iain Abernethy.

2007 also saw the celebration of 40 years in Karate and this was marked with special profiles in Martial Arts Illustrated and Combat Magazines. The Roundhouse Kick photo below was taken in November 2007, 40 years after the photo shown in the 60’s biography section.

                   Doug at 61

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 taken 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 retire 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.