My interest in karate started when I was at school, but unfortunately there were no children's clubs at that time so I had to confine myself to watching Bruce Lee movies.
Eventually when I was about 18, after seeing the film "Enter the Dragon", I saw an advert for the JSK club in Enfield . My aim was to be as invincible as Bruce Lee was (rather stupid when you consider he had been dead for 4 years at that time!!)
After paying my £5 life membership!!!!! to the then secretary John Kerridge, who was 1st kyu at the time, I took my first ever karate lesson with sensei Colin Coull who was then a 2nd dan.
That 1st lesson was quite daunting, as out at the front were quite
a selection of fierce looking dan grades including : sensei Perry, sensei Shearer, Peter Videan, Colin Coull, Sandy Marwick, and Jim Platt.
Sensei Perry made a point of talking to me after that first session to tell me I had done well and to offer me words of encouragement.
After that first session I was hooked and trained regularly at the Enfield dojo and also at sensei Shearers Edmonton dojo where training sessions were held in the canteen of his workplace. Many a great session was held there avoiding discarded chips and peas. I soon got a place in the Enfield team and we won the 1981 JSK team kumite event with Colin Coull as captain. I was also in the kata team and we managed to win this event four times. I was also overall senior champion twice, being the only person to win the black belt kumite and kata events.
In 1983 I passed shodan under sensei Kanazawa when we were still part of SKI. Soon afterwards sensei Perry decided to form his own independent organization, and of course we at Enfield went with him.
All my other gradings were under sensei Perry, and I took nidan in 1988, sandan in 1993,yondan in 1997, and godan in 2003.
I trained with many other instructors over these years including: Sensei's Kanazawa, Asano, Kato, Sugimoto, Kasuya, Ohta, Ticky Donovan, Terry O'Neill. Aidan Trimble, Vince Morris and Patrick McCarthy.
In 2008 I felt a need to move on and with great regret I decided to leave sensei Perry and Jin Sei Kai. Sensei Perry and I parted on good terms and I will always owe a huge debt of gratitude to him.
In 2009 my mentor and teacher for over 30 years sensei Barry Shearer awarded me my 6th dan.
Seishin-Ryu was formed in 2010. The aim was not to form a huge organisation but to mutually support each in our shared enthusiasm for traditional karate. In 2012 sensei Shearer agreed to become the honorary President of the Seishin-Ryu association!
Training in Seishin-Ryu is very challenging, not just physically but mentally, and only truly committed karateka will succeed.
At Enfield we have always attracted karate-ka from other clubs and styles who wish to further their knowledge of karate-do. Now with the help of sensei's Richard Forster, Andy Lewry, Seth Hart and my son Jack the Club has great teachers who can carry on the work started by sensei Shearer and myself.
My own training now has moved on from wishing to be an invicible fighter and now keeps me healthy, meeting great people and generally keeping my life in balance. As always I carry on learning from my teacher of 36 years hanshi Barry Shearer!
Other interests include, walking, tennis, travel, reading and gardening.
In May 2013, Hanshi Shearer awarded me the rank of Kyoshi which means master teacher or teacher of teachers to mark 35 years of being his student.
In February 2014 sensei Paul Perry sadly passed away. "If I can see farther it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants" and he was a giant in every way! In his last communication with me he asked me to "carry on with his teachings and remember that karate is not just about fighting, but about being honourable and giving the students what they need."