The Eighties

August 11, 2014 at 8:55 pm
The Eighties

Double Gold presentation by Sensei Toru Takamizawa & Sparring Demo with Eugene Codrington at 1980 Tera Nationals.

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.   His Clubs were far & wide covering Cumbria & North East, so he decided to re-brand the clubs to bring under one banner & “Chojinkai Karate” was born.

1980 – the first ‘Chojinkai’ Course in Carlisle, front row l to r, Tim Bird, Graham Solon, Tom Armstrong (emigrated to Perth, Australia), Ged Carr, Doug, Jim Thompson, Steve Greenwood, Richard Bird.

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.

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.

I early/mid 80’s he opened a full time professional dojo & martial arts retail shop in Newcastle – Chojin Martial Arts – photo with Club Instructor Paul Jackson then 2nd Dan (Newcastle Club first Black Belt).

BELOW:1983 Summer Course – Rita, Michael, Doug, Steven.

BELOW: 1985 Summer Course – front row, l to r, Simon Crow 1st Dan (Morpeth Club first Black Belt), Ian McCranor 3rd Dan (Chojinkai Coventry affiliated Club), Doug, Steve Byfield (Suzuki 3rd Dan now with Chojinkai Newcastle), Robert Toole 2nd Dan, Ian Wood 1st Dan.

In 1983 he qualified with the English Governing Body as a 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, endorsed by the World Governing Body WUKO and achieved National Referee in 1984 & his first International qualification in 1986, allowing him to Judge at the European Senior Champs in Spain.

European Judge in Madrid in 1986.

Perth Australia Course 1986 & met up with former Carlisle student Tom Armstrong

Doug was a founding member & Chief Referee of the British Karate Grand Prix along 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.

1986 Summer Course at Minehead – Son Michael (11) 2nd left front row & Son Steven (13) 2nd right back row – next to Doug is Instructor Simon Crow 3rd Dan.

1987 Summer Course at Ayr – Front Row l to r – Andy Goodwin 1st Dan, Jon Little 1st Dan, Simon Crow 3rd Dan, Doug, Steve Chaplow 1st Dan (Kendal Club first Black Belt), Ian Abernethy 1st Dan (Cockermouth Club first Black Belt).

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 Ryu 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.

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 European and the WUKO World Championships and Chojinkai continued to flourish.

Fighters Magazine

Cover photo & main feature in Fighters Magazine, with Hexham & Prudhoe Instructor Jimmy Hague, then 3rd Dan (Hexham Club first Black Belt)

His international refereeing continued 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.

Relaxing at hotel in Titograd 1989 after qualifying as European Referee, with England Judge Jeff Pearson & National Coach Ticky Donovan

Link to The Nineties –>

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 –>

The Sixties

August 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm
The Sixties

1967 Middlesbrough Budokan Martial Arts Club – standing 4th from right Doug,White Belt – Club Founder & his first Instructor Fred Kidd 1st Dan centre kneeling – far left standing, John Sparkes 1st Dan – standing 5th & 6th from right, Cliff Richmond, White Belt & John Gittus, Green Belt – back row standing 2nd from left, Norman Wall, Green Belt. 

Doug Started training at the Middlesbrough Budokan Martial Arts Club in May 1967, aged 20. The Karate style practised was Wado Ryu within the BKA, originally under Chief Instructor Tatsuo Suzuki 7th Dan, who first introduced Wado Ryu Karate to the UK in 1963 .

His first interest in the Martial Arts was in 1963 when he trained in Judo at age 16 for about a year. Unfortunately the Club closed and Doug then joined the home town Rugby Club, West Hartlepool and played regularly for the Under 18’s and later for the Senior Teams for a few years.

Doug watched a Karate Demonstration in Hartlepool in mid 60’s given by Walter Seaton, then a 1st Dan and was very impressed. How the human body could develop power and skill, with such precision! This left him with a lasting impression, but did not join because of rugby commitments. Little did he know at the time, that Karate in the future, was to have such an influence and affect on the direction of his life.

Early in 1967 he went to a local beginner class one evening at the Middlesbrough Budokan Martial Arts Club with a work colleague who was already a club member, and was hooked straight away. Fred Kidd 1st Dan was the Club Head Instructor, assisted occasionally by John Sparkes also a 1st Dan – fellow members who went on to be accomplished Senior Karate Instructors were Norman Wall, Cliff Richmond and John Gittus who later emigrated to Australia.

The club also had Judo and Kendo sections which Doug tried on a few occasions – but it was Karate that he was fanatical about. The weekly training routine which was rarely missed was Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the club, then Sunday mornings would be local hill running up Eston Nab, then back to the dojo for stretching & sparring. Green belt was the first target, then Brown belt!

The visiting Instructor for occasional weekend courses was Peter Spanton, then a Wado Ryu 2nd Dan, who would travel from London and Tommy Morris on a few occasions, then a 3rd Dan Shukokai from Glasgow, who introduced him to alternative Style techniques and a variety of weapons including the Sai, Tonfa and Nunchaku.

Doug & Rita met in 1965 while Doug was training to be a draughtsman in Middlesbrough and they were married in September 1967 at Great Ayton, moving to Middlesbrough & lived in a flat, then later bought their first ‘home’ in early 70’s, a bungalow in Hutton Rudby.

Link to The Seventies –>