The Seventies

August 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm

The Seventies

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

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

Doug scoring in early 70’s Karate League Kumite – Referee Bryan Crossley – before hand pads!

This resulted in Doug winning the Silver Individual Kumite Trophy in North of England Open in 1971 and the following year winning the North East Karate League Kumite Team together with his Budokan colleagues. 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 Richard 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 at Crystal Palace.

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 at Pirelli. To live in the Lake District was seen as an added bonus, as this was an area they had many times visited in the past on long weekends & vacation breaks.

1975 Carlisle class at Harraby Community Centre, front row – Ian Crawford, Sheena Rock, Unknown, Tom Armstrong.

His dedication to Karate however never waned and Doug opened his first Karate Club in the October 1974 in Carlisle at Harraby Community Centre & the Cumbria School of Karate was born – in 1975 the Whitehaven Club was opened at the YMCA, Duke St.

Also in 1975 their second son Michael was born & Doug had already graded to Black Belt (he was graded to 1st Dan by the BKA Panel in London) – he took the bold step & resigned his job as Production Engineer and began teaching professionally in 1976.

Within 12 months he had started more clubs in Annan, Blackburn, Brampton, Cockermouth, Egremont, Lancaster, Morecambe, Maryport, Penrith, Preston, Silloth, Wigton, Workington and later classes in Langholm & Lockerbie. 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.

2nd Summer Course Silloth 1977, Doug Kneeling with Egremont & Whitehaven Instructor Ged Carr 1st Dan. l to r – Richard Bird, Graham Gordon, Frances Holliday, Mike Haslam, Jim Thompson, Sheena Rock, Unknown, Unknown, Steve Thwaites, Unknown.

In 1976 with his own clubs having their first summer residential course at Silloth Lido Holiday Park & the same year saw an opportunity to get the top English & Scottish karate clubs competing together in the ‘Border City’ & founded the renowned ‘Cumbria Open Karate Championships’ at the Carlisle Market Hall.

1976 Front kick board breaking demonstration Carlisle Great Fair Stage

Not wanting to give up his own need to train, Doug began training occasionally with Peter Spanton in London  & Toru Takamizawa in Birmingham.  In 1977 he affiliated his clubs to the Tera Karate Group within the BKA & would travel to Birmingham regularly for private lessons with Sensei Takamizawa at his club, the famous ‘Temple Karate Centre’.  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 4th Dan & Toru Takamizawa 5th Dan

In 1977 he attended a Summer Course in Spain with Toru Takamizawa and Eddie Daniels from Shukokai Karate & subsequently was successful in grading to 2nd Dan by BKA Panel in London.

Doug’s first love in the dojo & competitions had always been sparring/kumite, however Sensei Takamizawa’s inspirational teaching & attention to detail, got him equally interested in Kata resulting  in him achieving the Silver medal for Kata in the BKA North West Championships & at the Tera Karate Kai Nationals, he won the Bronze medal for Kata in two successive years & his team won the Junior Team Kumite.

1977 Cumbria Wado Ryu Championships at Carlisle Market Hall

1977 Ticky Donovan Course in Carlisle

1978 Top left: Whitehaven Club first Black Belt John Fitzsimmons & Carlisle Club first Female Black Belt Frances Holliday, Egremont 1st Dan Ged Carr, next to Doug

His reputation was clearly growing and he opened a new club in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1978, and later other clubs in the North East followed with Morpeth, Sunderland, Hexham, Prudhoe & Durham, thus the ‘North East School of Karate’ was born.  The time commitment was clearly growing and Doug decided to re-structure 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.

1979 Tera Karate Kai Nationals Junior Team Winners ‘Cumbria School of Karate’ – kneeling David Whiley, Ivor Savage, Lynne Byers, Robert Toole – l to r – Richard Bird (Penrith Club first Black Belt), Shirley Routledge, Ged Carr, Aileen Sinclair, Gillian Walton, Jim Thompson (Carlisle Club first Black Belt), Rita, Eddie Potts, Doug, Tim Bird, Unknown, Unknown.

Summer Course at Southport 1979, with Ged Carr then a 2nd Dan.

1979 Cumbria Open – ‘Cumbria School of Karate’ Team lining up, l to r, Mike Pattinson, Robert Toole, Unknown, Ivor Savage, Richard Bird.

Link to The Eighties –>