Mark McLeod

markmcloudI started training in April 1989, I wanted to learn karate as I was starting a new job as a taxi driver in Newcastle city centre and wanted to look after myself in case of trouble.

My first instructor was Sensei Mick Barnes and I loved the training and rarely missed a class, training up to four times a week.  As it was then, one class was a sparring and exercise only session which helped enormously for competition kumite as it resulted in many medal’s and trophy’s.

My confidence in martial arts was always high and I can honestly say that Karate has left me for ready for any challenge.  One of those challenges was competing in Belgium gaining a silver medal in individual kumite in 1993 with the Chojinkai squad, representing England in international tournament with many European countries   competing.

When the Newcastle club moved to a new location to Eldon Square Leisure Centre in the mid 90’s Sensei Barnes retired from Chojinkai karate.  Of course I continued to train under the expert guidance of Sensei Paul Jackson (6th Dan retired) to also teach karate and self defence myself.

I gained my 2nd Dan in 2006 and eventually started my own club in 2008 in Newcastle West.  By 2009 I was one of the Senior Instructors at the Newcastle clubs and still teach under the guidance of Sensei Doug James 8th Dan.  Although we no longer have the club in Eldon Square, Newcastle West is very popular.  I welcome to the opportunity to pass on my knowledge to any students who want to learn.

In 2015 I undertook a course of regular training sessions over a 5 month period with Darren Longstaff 5th Dan & Sensei Doug James 8th Dan and on 1st November was graded to 3rd Dan, an achievement I am is extremely proud of.