I was interviewed by one of my students for her school piece
“Who Inspires You”
When did you first start martial arts?
I started martial arts in 1980 at the age of 9 years.
There wasn’t anything that inspired me to start karate. Many will say that Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris (The Karate Kid hadn’t been made yet 1984) was the reason they started a martial art.
For me, it was the boy (Peter) and his Dad across the road knocked on the door and asked if I wanted to go with them to the new Tae-Kwondo club that had started in the local pub’s (The Good Companions) function room.
I had no idea what Tae-Kwondo was, even to the point of walking through the door. My Dad just said Yes and sent me on my way with Peter and his Dad.
Peter stopped after a couple of classes but obviously I enjoyed it and continued.
The go-kart boy (Stuart I believe) and myself became friends and competed at local comps.
Good Companions Pub where Master Wayne first started martial arts
Norwich SESMA Studio where hundred of students take there 1st lesson
Where have you been over the world for karate?
Germany at age of 17 in the European Championships as part of the England Karate Team under the coach Ticky Donovan OBE
Scotland age 18 represent England against Wales, Scotland and Universities(Team Gold)
America Florida about age 19/20, representing Mick Blackwell’s EKKA English Korean Karate Association in points kickboxing against the All American Team. (Team Silver)
Italy when 22/23, representing England Karate under the coach and competitor Ian Cole (Team Gold)
Australia 2013 Teaching a seminar in Perth.
America Florida in 2017 age 46 representing England at the WMAG World Championships. (1xIndividual Gold & Silver, 2 Team Silvers)
Jamaica 2018 age 47 representing England at the ISKA World Championships (3 Individual Golds & 1 Bronze)
Liechtenstein 2018 representing England at the EMAG European Championships (3 Individual Golds)
London 2019 representing England at the WMAG World Championships. (4xIndividual Gold & 1 Team Gold)
What was your happiest moment in martial arts?
Apart from achieving my Black Belt it would have to be meeting my future wife.
Even at my wedding, we came out to a tunnel of my students which Sue had organized.
What is your favourite kata?
My favourite Korean kata is Koryo, I love the skill it requires to do the double kicks and the speed of the moves.
And when the transition between the long stances is performed smoothly, the kata looks strong and flowing.
Japanese Kata in Unsu, the short deep stances, display of balance and poise to sudden explosive long movements.
Follow this with drop to the floor and the 360 jump turn landing with precision is just a great display of dynamic power.
What is your favourite competition kata?
My favourite was Gankaku till I learnt Gojushiho Sho. One it doest have a big jump at the end which hurts my old bones.
Plus it has variation of speed in the moves and transitions, also slow controlled power married with explosive speed and power. The uniformed layout of the pattern makes it interesting to watch compared to the “H” shape of Korean patterns.
That’s why it is my favourite to perform and to watch.
What and when was your greatest achievement?
I have achieved so much (sounds bigheaded but not my intension) in my years that I cant say which has been my greatest.
To me they have all been great but in different ways.
Representing your country is up there with being a World & European Champion, but also is dancing at the Norwich Theatre Royal, competing in cycling events and walking the Coast to Coast.
Then do we add the achievement of all that have passed a grading or like yourself becoming a World Champion. What about the boy that has behavioral problems at school and through me teaching him 1-2-1 kickboxing at school, his behavior, school work and SAT’s have improved or the child that now has the confidence to stand up to bullies.
If you pinned me down to just one, it would be that I have brought up 2 beautiful children, one of which (Danielle) had the courage to refuse any more medication/hospital treatment which resulted in her passing away, and Craig who has a successful career piloting submersibles and has finally found love. And hopefully I will gain another achievement in the raising of a future grandchild.
In karate what has been your most treasured moment?
That one is easy, Passing my Black Belt. There has never been another feeling like it in my 41years of martial arts. Not even becoming a world champion or being indited to the Hall of Fame.
How many trophies do you have currently?
Oh my, I really don’t know and wouldn’t like to guess.
Many of my old trophies that I have won have been reused at fight night events or inter club competitions.
When you have been competing or practicing martial arts for as long as myself (over 40 years) the trophies and medals don’t give me the same excitement as they did when I was much younger or possibly yourself.
They all take up space or sit in the loft, Sue calls them dust collectors.
My World & European medals are different and im proud to display those. Inspiration to others and a great display of the clubs awesomeness.
The one that I holds the dearest to my heart is my England Blazer with England Badge that I wore when I was 17/18.
Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration was my instructor for most of my life, then I met my Cousin for the first time in 2013 when I was in Australia. He has only the use of one arm after a motor bike accident.
His courage and determination to not let it stop him from being normal. He competed in Quad Bike comps, by velcroing his hand to the handle bars. He went on to being selected to represent Australia as a member of the Para-Olympics cycle team, road racing and indoor track. Now he coaches paras of which many were to compete at the 2020 tokyo Olympics.
But over the last few years it has been my mum. When my father passed away, I discovered so much that was kept from me, and the strength of my mother through so much s*#t (replace with a word of your choosing) is an inspiration to me.
What is your favourite thing about teaching?
Again so many to choose from (not in order)
1) Children that think my jokes are funny.
2) Knowing that even with one lesson you have had an impact on that students life.
3) The bond that develops between student and instructor.
4) Being a role model and inspiring children and adults to achieve goals that they may have thought were impossible.
5) Having fun and coming up with silly nick names.
What is your next target?
Increase the SESMA instructor team so that I can pass the reins on to Sensei Tom and concentrate on spending more quality time with Sue. Sue is 14 years my senior and I don’t want us to lose what years we have together by me working all the time.
I may only be teaching twice a week, but im on the computer at home working most of the time. I get told off when im still on the laptop after 6pm and at weekends. Doesn’t matter what grade I am, Sue is still the BOSS!!