2010 to the present day

Summer Course – Turkey 2010 – next to Doug is local club instructor Erdal Kurt


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

Malta Summer Course 2012 – 6am training!

2014 saw the 40th Anniversary of the Chojinkai Karate Clubs that started in Carlisle in October 1974.   The year had many celebrations with 40th Annual Summer Course in Tenerife & Social trip to Las Vegas, 40th Anniversary Championships in October & the conclusion was a Dinner Presentation Evening in Carlisle when Sensei James presented 34 Appreciation Awards to Senior & Assistant Instructors.

40th Chojinkai Anniversary Social Trip

At the WKF World Championship Referees Briefing in Germany, on the same weekend as the 40th Chojinkai Anniversary Dinner, Sensei James 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 & 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 & Molly Samuel MBE


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

Since 1974 when Chojinkai Karate was founded, there have been many high ranked Black Belt Instructors, who have subsequently retired & are regarded as ‘Chojinkai Legends’. These are 3rd Dan’s Simon Crow, Richard Bird, Martin Kammeier & Jimmy Hague, 4th Dan’s Ian Hall & Lee Wilson, 6th Dan’s Paul Jackson & Steve Chaplow.

A unique photo of Chojinkai Legends with Senior Instructors at Doug & Rita’s Golden Wedding Anniversary party in 2017 – 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

Other 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 5th Dan), Mark Holding 5th Dan & Gordon Harrison 6th Dan.  Doug is very proud that having trained in Chojinkai for 20/30 years, they all achieved a very high standard & particularly Iain Abernethy 5th Dan, who is now ranked 7th Dan & an internationally renowned Instructor.

In April of 2017 due to his retirement from running his Chojinkai Clubs, he handed these over to the Clubs Head Instructors & the Chojinkai Karate Association is now run by Doug & the Head Instructors.

The 2017 Spring Gasshuku with the current Senior Grading Panel/Instructors (kneeling) – Mark Heaton, Matt Miller, Doug James, Darren Longstaff, Ray Hind.

He remains President, utilising the experience he gained from a lifetime in Karate & is still very much a ‘hands on’ Chief Instructor of Chojinkai Karate, maintaining high standards by teaching at Chojinkai Courses & chairing Brown/Black Belt Gradings plus organising the Annual Children’s Open & the renowned Cumbria Open Karate Championships, now in it’s 42nd year.

Teaching on the Spring Gasshuku 2017