The Eighties

The Eighties
Fighters Magazine

Sensei James makes the cover of Fighters Magazine

The eighties started well with a Gold Medal in Kata at the Wado and Open Style Tera Karate Kai Nationals. His hard work continued to pay off with a successful grading to 3rd Dan by the Tera Karate Kai Panel in Birmingham in 1980.  As his interest in competition flourished, Doug became more interested in refereeing and trained under Barry Tatlow who was the Tera Karate Kai Chief Referee.

The decade progressed and Doug went on to found the Newcastle Upon Tyne Open Championships at the Lightfoot Stadium, Walker. He also re-named the clubs ‘Chojinkai’ to bring all of the association clubs under one banner.

In 1982 he made the decision to leave the Tera Karate Kai & Toru Takamizawa to form his own association, to concentrate on furthering & developing the Clubs with the foundation of the British Karate Do Chojinkai Association within the English Karate Federation – later named FEKO.

He then qualified with the English Governing Body in 1983 and achieved National Judge status under Brian Smith. Doug retired from competing in Karate at the age of 35 to concentrate on & developing competition officiating.

He was awarded 4th Dan WUKO and achieved National Referee status with his first International qualification in 1986 allowing him to judge at the European Senior Champs in Spain. Doug became a founding member of the British Karate Grand Prix with Roy Stanhope, Abdu Shaher, Unel Wellington, Victor Charles. Following on from this he was Invited to Australia to teach and formed the International Karate Do Chojinkai, with affiliated Groups in Southern Ireland and Wales.

His refereeing prowess continued to bring in the invitations and he went on to Officiate at the European Senior Championships in Italy and Scotland and the European Junior Champs in Spain. More qualifications followed with an International Referee qualification at the European Championships in Yugoslavia and the prestigious award of a 5th Dan Black Belt under WUKO.

The age of Video was firmly upon us, and Doug recorded ‘Wado Ryu Karate’ – ‘Beginner to Black Belt’, Pioneering the first Comprehensive Video on the Wado Curriculum, with Video Producer Tim Eyrl. The success of this top selling training video inspired him to form the Video Martial Arts International Production Company (with business partner Tim Eyrl), more universally known as VMA International. This pioneered the first ‘Magazine on Video’ in 1988.

Traditional Karate Magazine

Sensei James makes the cover of Traditional Karate Magazine

The company went on to produce Instructional and Training tapes with Ticky Donovan, Terry Pottage, John Richards and other leading British Karate Instructors of the day and became the first company to record Championship Videos of English and British National Karate Events plus the European and World Karate Championships. By the end of the 80’s VMA had been appointed the Official Video Team to both EKU and the WUKO and Chojinkai continued to flourish.