The Seventies

The Seventies

It seemed that all that hard training throughout the sixties was paying off. Doug was graded by Peter Spanton to Brown Belt 3rd Kyu in 1970. This is when Doug started helping out at classes and first showed a keen interest in teaching.

Complementing his teaching he began competing in Open Kumite competitions and in the North East Karate Kumite League, organised by Bryan Crossley, who had been the first All Britain Kumite Champion in 1965.

Karate League Kumite – before hand pads!

This resulted in Doug winning the silver medal in North of England Open and Winner of the North East Karate league. The league was a forerunner of competitions in the North East & attracted many top clubs such as Sendai Sunderland with John Holdsworth & Owen Murray and Kobukan Darlington with Dick Copeland to name but a few.

His interest in competition continued. With the Budokan squad, Doug travelled to London and competed in the BKA Nationals, Kata and Kumite, reaching the quarter finals in the Kumite.

Cumbria Wado Ryu Championships 1977

Life moved on, and Doug and Rita were the proud parents of their first son Steven, who was born in 1973. With priorities changing, Doug, Rita and Steven moved to Carlisle in 1974 to allow Doug to work in Production Engineering. To live in the Lake District was seen as an added bonus, as this was a region they had many times visited in the past on vacation breaks. His dedication to Karate however never wained, and Doug opened first Karate Club in the October 1974. The Cumbria School of Karate was born. To top it all his second son Michael, was born in 1975. Doug resigned his job as Production Engineer and began teaching professionally in 1976 following the award of his Shodan (1st Dan) grade by the BKA Panel in London. Within 12 months he had started clubs in Annan, Blackburn, Brampton, Cockermouth, Egremont, Lancaster, Langholm, Lockerbie, Morecambe, Maryport, Penrith, Preston, Silloth, Whitehaven, Wigton and Workington. To ensure that he and his family would make a living, he took all classes himself, usually two venues in one night and then throughout the weekend, driving over 30,000 miles a year.

1st Summer Course Silloth 1976

Interest was clearly growing in martial arts and Doug went on to found the Cumbria Open Karate Championships in 1976 at Carlisle Market Hall with his own club having their first summer residential course at Silloth the same year.

Front kick board breaking demonstration

Not wanting to give up his own need to train, Doug began training with Toru Takamizawa, travelling to Birmingham for regular private lessons, then affiliated to the Tera Karate Group within the BKA. Still looking to grow his own skills, Doug continued to compete in Kumite League, Open and Individual competitions and was the pivot point for the Club Team.

with Eddie Daniels & Toru Takamizawa

He attended a Summer Course in Spain with Toru Takamizawa and Eddie Daniels from Shukokai Karate, was Graded 2nd Dan by BKA Panel in London. He won the Silver medal for Kata in the BKA North West Championships. He was twice the Bronze medallist for Kata in the Tera Karate Kai Nationals. His team also won the Gold Medal for Team Kumite in the Tera Karate Kai Nationals.

Ticky Donovan Course in Carlisle 1977

2nd Dan Grading Photo


Tera Karate Kai Nationals Team Winners 1979

His reputation was clearly growing and he opened a new club in Newcastle in 1978, a full time Dojo and Shop. Later, other clubs in the North East followed with Morpeth, Sunderland, Hexham, Prudhoe and Durham. The time commitment was clearly growing and Doug decided to re-structured the number of club venues, so he could personally teach at the majority of the clubs and look forward to the remainder of the decade with the assurance that the students were getting the best he could offer.

Summer Course at Southport 1979