Mark Heaton

I started training in 2000 at the Carlisle club aged 15.  At the first session only three students turned up and by the second session I was the only student left.  Sensei Doug James taught the class himself and he continued that Beginners Class with just me on a one to one basis, when he could have easily said come back in three months when the next new beginners classes start. He told me some years later that “he saw great potential in me and did not want me to stop training” that is a decision I am very grateful for.

I quickly discovered my passion for karate, training 3 times a week at the Carlisle club and also attending seminars and courses put on by the Association. I have been heavily influenced by Sensei Doug James, Sensei Ray Hind and Sensei Iain Abernethy and I competed regularly in Kata and Kumite.

A Senior Instructor at Chojinkai

A Senior Instructor at Chojinkai

In 2004 aged 19, I finally achieved my 1st Dan. I then geared my training towards practical karate, self defence and went onto gain my 2nd Dan with the British Combat Association.  By 2006 I had taken over the Children and Beginner classes at the Carlisle Club.

In 2009 I became an SIA Door Supervisor, increasing my understanding of practical self defence and putting what I knew under pressure in often very real situations.  I also boxed at amateur level and trained in other styles of martial arts to complement my karate skills. It was around that time I also decided to restart the Brampton Karate Club and that has gone from strength to strength.  As well as being the Head Instructor at Carlisle, Brampton & Wigton Clubs, I currently hold the rank of Yondan (4th Dan) and teach six classes a week over three nights.

Chojinkai is a massive part of my martial arts and my social life. I have attended all Winter and Summer courses since 2001, forging some great friendships between all the clubs within the Association.  I feel privileged to still be a part of Chojinkai and hope to continue to help it grow and further my training and those of others who I am privilege to teach.