Darren Longstaff

I started training in 1981 at the very first class of the newly opened Prudhoe Chojinkai Karate club.

Darren Longstaff 5th Dan

Darren Longstaff

I was a shy and quiet young lad but having watched many of the martial arts films of the time particularly starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan,  when my dad said he would take me to a Karate class that was starting I was nervous but also very keen.  I still remember that first lesson and meeting my first club instructor (the great Sensei Jimmy Hague), and I was hooked from the start.

Within a very short time Sensei Hague had me training in the adults class as well as the juniors.  It was 3 months later at my first grading that I met Sensei James and he remains my instructor to this day. In my early days I trained at Prudhoe but also on occasion at Hexham and Newcastle and also attended many competitions having success as both a Junior and a Senior.

Following Jimmy’s retirement from Karate and my own relocation to Haltwhistle in 1990, I started training at Hexham club under Sensei Martin Kammeier.  I still attended competitions, fighting in individual categories and in the association team, but grew increasingly interested in the practical side of Karate for self protection, a path I have followed ever since.

I have gained knowledge and experience from many sources including several years working in door supervision in pubs and clubs bringing all the skills and experience of real world application back to Chojinkai, to augment both my training and teaching. I took over Hexham Chojinkai in 1999 and in 2007 opened Haltwhistle Chojinkai.

I am extremely proud to be with Chojinkai and have gained so much from Sensei James, my fellow instructors and those that have taught and trained with me over the years. Learning comes from many sources, but it isn’t only about the Karate skill I have learned, as I have  also gained many great friendships that have come from being in our association.

I am now a 6th Dan Senior Instructor and a Permanent Member of the Senior Grading Panel with Chojinkai, the Head Instructor of both the Haltwhistle and Hexham clubs and I teach at many Chojinkai Karate events and also run my own Self Defense Seminars.