The Sixties

The Sixties

Doug Started training at the Middlesbrough Budokan Martial Arts Club in May 1967, aged 20. The Karate style practised was Wado Ryu within the BKA, originally under Chief Instructor Tatsuo Suzuki 7th Dan.

His first interest in the Martial Arts was in 1963 and he trained in Judo at age 16 for about a year. Unfortunately the Club closed and Doug then joined the home town Rugby Club, West Hartlepool and played regularly for the Under 18’s and later for the Senior Teams for a few years.

Doug watched a Karate Demonstration in Hartlepool given by Walter Seaton, then a 1st Dan and was very impressed. How the human body could develop power and skill, with such finesse! This left him with a lasting impression , but did not join because of other commitments. Little did he know at the time, that Karate in the future ,was to have such an influence and affect on the direction of his life.

He went to a local beginner class one evening with a work colleague who was a club member, and was hooked straight away. Fred Kidd 1st Dan was the Budokan Club Instructor, assisted occasionally by John Sparkes also a 1st Dan – fellow students who also went on to be Senior Instructors were Norman Wall, John Gittus and Cliff Richmond

The club also had Judo and Kendo sections which Doug dabbled in on a few occasions – but it was Karate that he was fanatical about. The weekly training routine which was rarely missed was Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the club, then Sunday mornings would be hill running, then back to the dojo for sparring and stretching. Green belt was the first target, then Brown belt!

The visiting Instructor for occasional weekend courses was Peter Spanton, then a Wado Ryu 2nd Dan, who would travel from London and Tommy Morris on a few occasions, then a 3rd Dan Shukokai from Glasgow, who introduced him to alternative Style techniques and a variety of weapons including the Sai, Tonfa and Nunchaku.

Doug met his future wife Rita in 1965 while training to be a draughtsman in Middlesbrough and they were married in September 1967 at Great Ayton, moving to Middlesbrough to live & then later Hutton Rudby.