Stephen Lambert

My interest in Martial Arts started from an early age in the mid seventies I would watch TV programs like Monkey and Kung Fu and movie stars like Chuck Norris, Jim Kelly, Bolo Yeung, Joe Lewis and Bruce Lee.

Sensei Stephen Lambert

Sensei Stephen Lambert

When I was growing up I was bullied at school, from middle school to high school. It was when I got to high school that I noticed a poster advertising Karate which was run as part of a night class on one of the schools notice boards. I enrolled as soon as I could and started training twice a week, my Sensei was called Shawn who was a big powerful man with long hair and a beard or the best way to describe him would be as a Billy Connolly look alike.

When I watch martial arts movie stars on the TV they make it look so easy but I was about to find out that to be as good as them was going to take a lot of dedication and hard work.

I trained all through my high school years with Shawn and because it was a night class we did not belong to any association so the gradings were done in house. The first time I met Sensei Doug James was in 1983 aged 17 when Shawn had brought Doug in to conduct a grading at his club & I obtained my 5th Kyu.

The classes I attended came to an end as Shawn moved away from Hexham, so I started to train at the Hexham Chojinkai club under Sensei Martin Kammeier, who had taken over the Club from Jimmy Haque.  Doug James had originally started the Club in 1981 along with Prudhoe & Hexham Karate legend, Jimmy Haque 3rd Dan, who had trained with him at the Newcastle Dojo since late 70’s.

I trained with Martin for many years and entered competitions all over the North East and our own inter club competitions. We had very good instructors at the Hexham club who would push me on to better myself such as Darren Longstaff, Brian Armstrong, Stuart Brown, Stephen Surtees, Damien Chicken and I must not forget Brenda Walker to name just a few, right up until 1999 when Sensei Darren Longstaff took over from Martin.

Darren has been my main Instructor to this present day and he’s not just my Sensei but a dear friend who I look up too and can call on at any time for advice about training and for support to push me forward in my own training, or to pass his knowledge down to my students.

I have been very fortunate to have such dedicated instructors throughout my karate carrier, I have to thank them all for their support and passion and dedication though out the years and for helping me get to where I am today .

I am the Senior Instructor at Haltwhistle Chojinkai holding a 3rd Dan. I was previously running the Hexham Chojinkai club from 2007 under the guidance of Sensei Darren Longstaff  and club instructors Neil Gatenby and Liam Reid. This club unfortunately closed in 2016 due to Instructor work commitments however, we are expecting to open up again in the near future.