Alan Connor

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I started training when I was 17 at a ‘Shukokai Karate’ club in Stoke on Trent influenced at the time by Bruce Lee films (specifically ‘The Way of the Dragon’).

I didn’t progress through the grades very far as all wanted to do was Kumite Sparring! This lasted for 3 years after which I moved to Cumbria.

Some 19 years later, and at the tender age of 39, I took my son to start lessons at Egremont Chojinkai club under the instruction of Sensei Gordon Harrison and after a few months watching at the club and helping my son at home I decided to give karate another try.  I subsequently took and passed my yellow belt on my 40th birthday, showing you are never to old to take up martial arts and have been with the Egremont club ever since.

I worked with my son over the years and we graded together to achieve 1st and 2nd Dan grades. My daughter also got interested and trained for a couple of years achieving her brown belt.

I became assistant club instructor under Gordon and have spent many happy years training and teaching, gaining experience and developing others to help them reach their potential and to pass their grades. Sensei Harrison has always been keen on competition karate and is an excellent tournament official.  It was actually his influence that led me to start on the journey to join him as an official and after many years on the club and national circuit I have now achieved my ambition of becoming a ‘British Referee’ which is something I am very proud of.

If I was to look for something memorable about my time in martial arts it was being invited to officiate at the World Wado Kai Championships in London in 2013. This has been a great experience and I have gained many friends both within the Chojinkai Karate Association and up and down the country. Hopefully I have helped to pass some of the learning onto our own students to raise the standard required for them to compete at a higher level.

I am currently the joint Head Instructor at the Egremont Chojinkai Karate Club, assisting Sensei Harrison however, the absolute highlight of my karate career to date, was when I was awarded 4th Dan by Sensei Doug James at the 40th Anniversary Chojinkai Cup Annual Championships.