2010 to the present day

2010 Summer Course Turkey – kneeling l to r – Mark Heaton 3rd Dan , Annette Holding 3rd Dan, Icmeler Club Instructor Erdal Kurt, Doug, Lee Wilson 4th Dan, Ray Hind 5th Dan.


Doug with former Middlesbrough Budokan Black Belts from 60/70’s Cliff Richmond & Norman Wall in 2011 – Cliff was a White Belt when Doug started in ’67 & Norman was a Green Belt.

Malta Summer Course 2012 – 6am training!  l to r, Lewis Heaton, Mark Heaton, Richard Dowdell, Nick Strange, Martin Klijn, Jordan Beaty, George Seggie, Doug, Mark Holding, Leonie Wiggin, Matt Dowdell, Helen Elliott, Lee Wilson, Steven Elliott.

40th Chojinkai Anniversary Social Trip to Las Vegas in May 2014, l to r, Ian Thwaites, Jon Haymes, Mark Heaton, Emma Klijn, Lee Wilson, Rita, Martin Klijn, Doug, Leonie Wiggin. 

2014 saw the 40th Anniversary of his Karate Clubs, that started in Carlisle in October 1974 & subsequently became known as the renowned ‘Chojinkai Karate Clubs’.  The year had many celebrations with a Social trip to Las Vegas in May, 40th Annual Summer Course in Tenerife in August, 40th Anniversary Championships in October & the conclusion was a Dinner Presentation Evening in November, Doug presented Appreciation Awards to 34 of the Chojinkai Black Belt Instructors.

At the WKF World Championship Referees Briefing in Germany, on the same weekend as the 40th Chojinkai Anniversary Dinner in November, Doug was honoured with his own Appreciation Award from the WKF World President Antonio Espinos – “In recognition of over 20 years of excellence in refereeing and loyal dedication to the growth and development of the WKF Karate-Do”.

The Award was accepted on his behalf by the EKF Chief Referee, Dale Gamble and was presented to him at the English Senior Championships in April 2015.

At the March 2016 Martial Arts Illustrated HALL OF FAME AWARDS, Doug was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 50 years in Karate.


Photo with former World Champions Davy Coulter MBE and Molly Samuel MBE

In  2017 Doug’s 50 years in Karate was again recognised with features in both Ippon Magazine and Martial Arts Illustrated.

During this decade, Senior Chojinkai Black Belts who he trained from Beginner through to Senior Black Belt & have gone on to run their own organizations in the UK are Chris Denwood 4th Dan (now 6th Dan), Mark Holding 5th Dan (now 6th Dan) and Gordon Harrison 6th Dan.

Doug is very proud that having trained them in Chojinkai Karate for 25/30 years, they all achieved a very high standard and continue to be successful, particularly Iain Abernethy 5th Dan who is now ranked 7th Dan and an internationally renowned Instructor.

Since 1974, there have been many high ranked Black Belt Instructors, who have subsequently retired from Karate and are still regarded by members as ‘Chojinkai Legends’ – particularly 3rd Dan’s Simon Crow, Richard Bird, Martin Kammeier and Jimmy Hague, 4th Dan’s Ian Hall and Lee Wilson, 6th Dan’s Paul Jackson and Steve Chaplow.

A unique photo taken at Doug & Rita’s Golden Wedding Anniversary party in 2017 of three Chojinkai Legends & current Senior Instructors – l to r – Darren Longstaff 6th Dan – Doug James 8th Dan – Jimmy Hague 3rd Dan (70/80/90’s) – Martin Kammeier 3rd Dan (80/90’s) – Ian Hall 4th Dan (80/90’s) – Stephen Lambert 3rd Dan

In April of 2017 & due to his retirement from running his Chojinkai Clubs, he handed these over to the Club Head Instructors and the Association – the British Karate-Do Chojinkai – is now run by the Club Head Instructors, with Doug remaining the President & Chief Instructor.

45th Chojinkai Anniversary Social Trip to New York in June 2019 – In Times Square – l to r, Doug, Martin Klijn, Leonie Wiggin, Mark Heaton, Reece Crowder, David Whiteley & Rita (out of photo, Emma Klijn & Donna Beaty)

The current Senior Grading Panel/Instructors (kneeling) – Mark Heaton 5th Dan, Doug, Darren Longstaff 6th Dan, Ray Hind 6th Dan.

In January 2022 he was awarded 9th Dan by the Board of the English Karate Federation, acknowledging his 55 years training, teaching & contribution to Karate – the promotion was endorsed by the Secretary of the WKF Technical Commission along with the honorary title of ‘Hanshi‘. 

This was presented by Steve Copeland, the President of the EKF at the National Championships in Sheffield in July 2022 – this made him very proud to be recognised by his peers & cemented his legacy & own style of Chojinkai, to live on through his Senior Instructors & students for many years & generations to come.

Sensei James is a ‘hands on’ Chief Instructor, utilising the experience he gained from a lifetime in Karate, maintaining high standards by teaching at Chojinkai Courses and Club visits, chairing the Brown/Black Belt Gradings plus organising the Annual the Chojinkai Cup, the Children’s Open & the renowned Cumbria Open Karate Championships, now in it’s 46th year.

ABOVE: Teaching on recent Gasshuku in Carlisle – BELOW: Teaching in 2022 on the Annual Winter Course @ Center Parcs & the Quarterly Senior Training Course in Carlisle.