Born in 1963, I joined the Amersham Club of the Katsu Academy of Shotokan Karate, in October 1992, training under Ashley Croft and P.McCauliffe. My first grading (10th taken in December 1992 and examined by Sensei Robin Reid in Peterborough.
A year later politics interfered and the Chiltern Karate Association was formed - I did my last grading here, under Sensei Croft, in December 1993 reaching 6th Why did I start? - Even then sport had taken a toll on my body and I needed to learn to stretch properly. Also, my job is desk based - I am a scientist - so then need to switch off is also paramount to my wellbeing and state of mind.
In January 1994, I enrolled with Jin Sei Kai (JSK) in Watford under the guidance of Mick Gorman. I was then and was impressed at the level of ability, knowledge and competence of all the JSK instructors - that includes those who have now left like Sensei Shearer who always had time to help me. After hard training with Sensei,s Gorman and Martin I improved and would like to thank them for their patience, especially with Mick in the build-up to my Sandan grading.
Like Paul I miss the championships we used to have and especially fighting him. It was fun but I think we are now a bit too old for that, although it would not stop us trying. Lost to him in one of those individual finals but got my revenge in the team event, in which I was lucky to be in the winning team several times.
Paul and I have been friends a long time since those days of setting up a dojo in Potters Bar, when Richard was one of first students! So when we discussed the possibility of me coming over to help teach, I was of course delighted to have been invited.
My attitude to training is that it should be hard but not mindless - hence my love of investigating what is behind the movement and training with instructors like Patrick McCarthy and Ricky Clark has been illuminating. However, like any discipline the foundations are most important so basics, basics and more basics. You achieve nothing without hard work but that has to be effective and in order to achieve that I believe you have to understand the purpose of the movement. Visualisation is a powerful tool but you have to have the knowledge to underpin it, so you should keep striving to learn more.
In November 2013 Sensei Andy Lewry achieved Yodan under Sensei Paul Perry.
Married with two children and a grandson my other interests include cricket, rugby, tennis (watching only now), but I still manage to play county league table tennis. Kyu.