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Stuart's picture


Okey dokey, a brief life's history.  Hell it's quiet at work, I'm bored ridged, so I've decided to do the longest introduction to a forum ever.  This by a man whose only claim to martial arts fame was that he once walked headlong into Terry O'neil at a KUGB tournament, once got double graded by Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda and got hit rather hard in the testicles by Dave Hazard.

For those who sensibly don't really give a damn and wish to skip the following peroration I'll start with a quick introduction which is all you probably want anyway.

Quick Intro:  I'm a 2nd dan Shotokan practioner who likes to mix it a bit with just about anythng else I can get to train in.

Those of you as bored as I am here's the long intro:

As a kid I saw my first Bruce Lee film, oddly enough, on a family holiday to the coast where I was smuggled in to see Fists of Fury. I was blown away and determined to learn to fight like that (well what did I know).  So when I got home I joined a Shotokan karate class, I was about 8.  Anyway my dad did not drive so when my neighbour stopped going to class after a few months so did my lift.  I was gutted but what could I do.  So for the next 8 or so years I had to be content watching some of the worst martial art films coming out of china and buying some equally dire books.  I still have some of the books which are a good read but not for the reasons intended when they were written.  Anyway these films and books taught me loads, I could make strange noises while waving my arms about, fight (well wobble about a bit) while apparently drunk and lastly and most importantly fly through the air for about 50 ft.  I'd only ever managed about 3 to 4 feet but I could feel the distance coming.  Oh yes and one book told of a mysterious punch that when landed caused death years later.  Quite what use that was the middle of a fight was uncertain and how it was ever validated was even less clear but I set about perfecting it.  I do know that a chap I punched and knocked out in school when I was 15 did indeed die some years later.  They say it was a motorbike crash but I think we all know better.

At 16 I got myself a motorbike, a beast of a Honda 125, and so located my nearest Shotokan club and joined.  This was the early 80's and the club, part of the KUGB, was what you'd expect and of it's time.  Tough, some questionable training practices, some big ego's, I loved it.  Not seen so many eyes blackened, teeth knocked out, blood spilt and people rendered unconcious outside of a night club.  I went along with my dad, probaby the biggst loony there, which was great for me.  He in turn turned the house into a place to train.  The garden had makiwara of various sorts, inside the house a large kick bag hung between the living room and the dining room, the floor littered with vaious equipment, boxing goves, head gear, pads of all descriptions, an entire wall hung with various weapons, nunchuks, katana, throwing stars, sai, tonfa, medievel mace, axes and swords, and bizarely a shotgun and my two air rifles.  One day he'd been training and he said to me "see if you can hit me in the head".  I refused.  He asked again. I refuse. He asked......I punched him squarely on the nose.  Boy did it bleed. It was great having a dad like that.  He got me practicing headbutts on the heavy bag then laughed for about a week until the bruising left my forehead.

So for three years I trained at the club, trained at home with my mad dad and eventually got to 3rd kyu.  By this time I was into throwing weights around at the gym, going out with my mates and having my head turned by young ladies.  It was getting tougher and tougher to go karate training three nights a week, weight train, go for a beer with the mates and if lucky meet a nice lady.  Something had to give and after an incident at the club I decided to give up karate.  Something I'll always regret.

Jump forward nearly 20 years and I take my daughter and I to the local Shotokan club and restart my training.  That was seven years ago, I still mainly doing Shotokan but mixing it with "reality" based stuff and anything else I can get round to doing.  I'm also currently working on getting my daughter ready for her Shodan grading sometime in the next year which will be a proud day for me smiley.


Jphilippe's picture

Hi All,


I'm from France, near Lyon.

First time on this forum, but long time reader of Iain's writtings.

I'm praticing Shotokan for 17 years even if I'm only Sandan (going slowly but surely !), and Yoseikan budo for 3 years.

I'm teaching as well to children as to adults for 6 years now in Shotokan and 1 year in Yoseikan Budo.

I Also tried Aikido and TaeKwonDo in order to get a better Idea of what it is.

Regards to all,

martin's picture

Hi all

I am Martin Marlborough a Shihan 5th Dan in Kyokushin and Branch chief for Scotland

I have trained in martial arts for over 47 years now, I trained for 10 years in Shotokan as a 3rd Dan

as well as Boxing, Kickboxing, Jujitsu, But my main art is Kyokushin Karate, I was awarded the post of branch chief

by the late Sosai Mas Oyama, I also run a Taiko drumming band ( Celtic Thunder Taiko )

                                  OSU Martin.

niallsdad's picture

Hello everyone.  Real name Steve. 

Started in 1982 in UK (now in Australia) and have been learning ever since - off and on. 

Was lucky enough to attend a course/seminar with Peter Consterdine in Manchester (about 1987/8) and had my perspective on practical Karate changed forever.  Also had some very informative chats with Brian Seabright in Oriental World on Swan St.  I often wonder if it is still there.

Fantastic site.

Hope to be able to contribute and still looking to learn more.

Adam's picture

Hey everybody,

I'm Adam, a university student from the midwestern United States.

I've been learning karate for the past seven years, but due to schedule conflicts with school, recently took up tai chi.  I've taught for several years and earned my second-degree black belt under Joe Chianakas and David Hawkey.

In addition to my martial arts training, I'm majoring in interactive media and journalism and hoping to graduate in the winter of 2011.  I've also been known to take in a match or two of pro wrestling.

ljhicks's picture

Good morning!

I have been training since 1986 in the World Tang Soo Do Association. I recently opened my own dojang in Hershey, PA called Chosen Martial Arts. I have been extremely lucky to train with a couple of master instructors who have pushed me to look at hyung/kata in the manner Mr. Abernethy teaches. I look forward to reading, listening and watching all that the new site offers. I enjoyed the previous version greatly. I will occasionlly try to offer my 2 cents but I am not sure I have much to offer.

Tang Soo!


Ulf's picture


My name is Ulf Karlsson and I do Taido since 1984. Living in the south of Sweden and teaches Taido in Lund.  I also do some Okinawan Martial Arts like the three classical kata Naihanchi, Passai and Kusanku.

Regards, Ulf

RikSca's picture


My name is Rik Scarborough and I am currently in Kansas in the US.  I started training in Shotokan in 1979 on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. I received my Shodan in Iowa in the mid 80's.  I've been in and out of training, in different styles off and on until I joined an Aikido with Ki school 2 years ago.  I'm currently a white belt in Ki-Aikido.  I've had some brief contact with other arts, including Shito-ryu, Judo, and Iaido.  

Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

Hi All

I am Black Tiger (Ken) on the old Forum I was known as Dobbersky or Koku Tora


Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

Hello all,

Started in 1971 (Kyokushin) and I'm now an Enshin Branch Chief based in Loughborough, England.

Knockdown Karate is my focus.  I also train/coach kettlebells.

As my wife would say, it keeps me out of mischief.


Gavin J Poffley
Gavin J Poffley's picture

Nice to see the new forums are filling up (mainly with all the old faces!)

Guess I had better introduce myself.

My name is Gavin Poffley and I have been studying various Japanese martial arts since I was 14. I started with Shotokan based karate and kickboxing and have since then moved on through wado ryu, kyokushin, judo, aikido and others. Presently my main study is the shorin ryu karate and ryukyu kobujutsu of Toma Shian but I also practice goju ryu, hakkoryu derived jujutsu and iaijutsu as part of the Dentokan Sekai Bugei Renmei, aikido with the United Kingdom Aikikai and fusen ryu kobujutsu with the Fusen Ryu Seibukan Onomichi Dojo in Hiroshima.

Professionally I am a Japanese translator and interpreter and am occasionally called on to interpret for various martial arts seminars which I enjoy tremendously. I have also researched the history and development of the martial arts academically and written university dissertations on the modernisation of the Japanese martial arts and the translation of Japanese martial arts literature.

HawaiianBrian's picture

Hey everyone.

My name's Brian, and no, I'm not from Hawaii; that's just a nickname (a very awesome one ) that one of my older brother's friends gave me one day that stuck (I was wearing a Hawaiian shirt that day and was tanned).  I'm actually from Canada and 2nd generation Japanese-Canadian.

Currently, I am a university student going for a degree in Politics/Philosophy/Economics (PPE) and training on the side.

For my martial arts background, I started doing Goju Karate when I was 6 for two years.  In 2000, I joined a club in town training Kenpo Karate and even though I stayed there until Sept 2009, I stopped training in Kenpo in 2004 and went back to my Goju, further incorporating elements of Shotokan and other schools of Karate as well as various Combatives systems.  Interestingly enough, I challenged the fighting component of the Kenpo school's curriculum and ended up getting a "black" belt even though I never learned more than half the curriculum (funny story).  Currently I'm developing a combatives/self defense system based on my Karate background and am starting a club up soon.

Anyways, it's good to meet everyone.  I look forward to englightening conversations with you all.


Tez's picture

My name's Irene and I train at Catterick Garrison Martial Arts Club under Mick Nokes, we do mostly MMA but I teach TSD to a small class of adults as well, thought that class is suspended as all my students are in  Afghanistan at the moment. Sadly, one of them, Andrew Howarth, was killed last week, a great shock, he was only 20  and will be hugely missed.

 The children in the club learn TSD and Judo. I started martial arts nearly 20 years ago with Wado Ryu still the love of my life but had to change styles ten years ago when the club moved and I couldn't get there anymore so discovered TSD and the joys of grappling. In the past few weeks I've enrolled in a JKD class to widen my experience of martial arts.

In our club we teach BJJ, Muay Thai, Judo, Boxing, Kick Boxing as well as karate. Mick's karate is Shotokan. We also teach self defence that Mick knows works from his experiences as a close protection officer and door supervisor. He's ex Army and I'm ex RAF so as well as mild arguments of Shotokan v Wado we can disagree on service too lol!

Last year I became the first female pro rules MMA referee outside America when I reffed on a promotion in Leeds, It was men's bouts I reffed too, great fun.. I'm far too old to fight sadly but enjoy cornering, reffing and judging MMA.

I get a huge amount of information and help from the martial artists on Iain's site as well as Iain himself as we don't belong to any organistions where I can get help from, currently I'm trying to teach myself Ship Soo from DVD, not easy but getting there I think/hope!

Nice to be on the new site, it looks great!

Kyoshi's picture

Nikolaj Skarbye here, from Denmark - been training martialarts for the last 15 years. Everything from Shotokan, Jiujitsu, Jinenkan, Xing Yi, WingTsun, Hapkido, Kickboxing and Koryu Uchinadi.

At the moment i study and teach Kyusho under Karsten Dam and EPAK under Kim Dahl, parker/planas Lineage and im thinking of picking up Koryu again.

Currently i hold 1. shodan Kyusho and 1.shodan Shotokan and i got alot of minor grades in the other different arts asswell...

Phil Miles
Phil Miles's picture

Hi I'm Phil Miles 

I've trained in the Martial Arts since 1994,  I have a shodan in Aikido, which I gained shortly before my first <em>Sensei </em>passed away.  I hold a few sashes in Wing Chun Kungfu and Wutan Kungfu which I trained whilst at University. I've had the opportunity to travel to Japan and train with the 34th Ninjutsu Grandmaster Hatsumi Masaaki for a short period at the end of 6 years of Ninjutsu training - I was given a Shodan in the art by local teacher but never had it ratified by the Hombu Dojo in Japan.   I had a falling out with the local teacher because the club was getting a little 'strange' and I wasn't happy with the direction it was going - I do however hold the certificates up to that grade.  I've had the chance to attend one of Stephen K Hayes seminars which was really uplifting and I'm extremely interested in the way that Anshu teaches. I'm currently training at the Exeter Practical Martial Arts club with Matt Sylvester which proves to be interesting, challenging and good fun! I recently had the pleasure of attending a few seminars by Iain Abernethy, who made a great impression - Iain is a practical, charismatic and insightful teacher and I'm chuffed to be here :O) I intend to continue researching and training in the Martial Arts, I'd like to teach one day and I intend to continue training in Ninjutsu regardless.  I really don't think that many people today realise the intention and wisdom implicit in the art.  I admit I'm not the best or most accomplished martial artist in the world but I'm sure that I've learned something along this journey and I'd probably describe myself as "adequate" :o) Look forward to chatting with you, Phil
GeoffG's picture

Hi I'm Geoff, and like unclefester I live in the best part of Australia - Perth, Western Australia. I've been training in a blend of Shotokan and Goju Kai karate for about six years, and am currently ranked Shodan-Ho. I'm a relative beginner, and am really looking forward to discussing karate and its application with people with far more experience than me.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Hi, i'm Zach Zinn.

I live in Olympia, Washington, USA..I have been doing Goju Ryu for about nine years now, previously I did Shorin Ryu as a kid and teenager, though the training was mostly sport-Karate kumite focused. Currently I train with Kris Wilder in Seattle when I can make the drive, and have been cross training in Judo for about six months.

I had my own small dojo in my town for a number of years, and I hope to be starting one up again soon.

Dave5's picture

Dave Fivecoat (Dave5) from Clarksville, Tennessee (USA). I have been studying martial arts since 1984, and Okinawan/Japanese arts since 1989. Due to a continuing long career in the military, I have a broad experience in martial arts (though not deep) from numerous relocations around the world. I am an instructor in Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu (formerly Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo) from the lineage of Nakamura Shigeru and Odo Seikichi Sensei(s). I lead a small club of Yudansha who are commited to exploring the practical side of our martial arts (www.rhkk-dojo.com). I have been a fan and loyal reader/viewer  of Iian Abernethy's blog and work for at least 5 years now.  I look forward to continue to grow and participate with like minded folks from around the world.


Dave Fivecoat

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Hi All,

Another newbie.  I am a shodan shotokan.  I train at Zanshin Kai in Kirkintilloch glasgow.  Our website: www.karateglasgow.com

We have a rather eclectic collection of people training at our club from Scottish Mai Thai heavyweight champion to Akido, Tae Kwon do and boxing.  I think this comes from the clubs mix between the practical application of karate and bunkai.  We do a lot of the 'traditonal' shotokan training activities mixed in with groundwork/throws and some grapppling, with the attitude that everyone is welcome who is willing.  We have visiting instructors  such as Harry Cook, Charles Gidley, Stephen Chan and others from different disciplines such as greco roman wrestling.

I'm very much interested in learning all the bunkai you all know and of course using it all on you at the first opportunity !!!

wayne williams
wayne williams's picture


My name is wayne and i practice wado ryu karate in essex. I have been training in the martial arts since i was 8 yrs old. It began with judo in 1969 as a junior and i ouit at the age of 17 when i discovered i was more interested in booze and birds. I have regretted that i quit at that stage ever since but we all have 20-20 hind sight.

Anyway a few years passed and i regained my focus and decided to try out Karate at a Dojo in east ham in east London. The Club was isshinryu and i trained with sensei Will Verner and sensei Ticky Donovan for a few years. This was the point at which i decided that karate was much more system that i wanted to study but work was getting more and more demanding and eventually took over completely when i got married and had kids.

Long pause to 1999 when i moved to Essex and my son spotted a small club in the local school hall. He wanted to try out this karate as it was what the power rangers were doing a every saturday morning on TV.

I got hooked again at this stage and have studied since then until now. Acheived shodan in 08 and will grade nidan in nov 10. Have also been practicing ju-jitsu for the past 2 yrs and am currently working towards 2nd Kyu.

I have had the pleasure of studies with Iain sensei on many occasions and am always impressed with the huge depth of knowledge and approachable nature that he brings to any dojo.  I have also studied with Hanshi Tatsuo Suzuki, Hanshi Pat Mcarthy, Hanshi Terry Wingrove and many other fantastic martial artists but i always come away from the dojo thinking i may train hard and study long but these men have forgotten more than i will ever know.

Cant imagine life without MA and always looking to expand my research and studies.

Fantastic web site Iain. Osu!

PASmith's picture

Hi all,

I'm Paul and I've been training in martial arts since 1993. Started with TKD, got a black belt in that and then soon after became disilusioned with "traditonal" pattern based martial arts (due to a lack of bunkai).

Then I went on a journey through other martial arts, doing all sorts of stuff, Hapkido, Savate and Arnis for example, but mainly focusing on Thai boxing, BJJ and grappling/MMA. Got a blue belt in BJJ.

For the last few years my main style has been a Kyokushin offshoot called Shidokan Karate. Due to take my black belt in that pretty soon (if my body can make it). Seeing as we do traditional patterns in Shidokan I was drawn to Iain's work to try and make sense of what I was doing.

I've also recently got back into TKD.

Look forward to learning from those that have gone before. :)

Hammer07's picture

Hello All,

                As a kid my dad would use me as he's training aid as he's a black belt in judo (good times), which opened the world of martial arts to me.   I've trained in Go Ju Kai, Zen Do Kai, and now Shotokan.  I came across Iain Abernethy's website from an Australian Martial Magazine BLITX.  I've been completely blown away with Iain's excellent explanations on Kata and its proper and lethal applications.  Iain's articles have really made me look at what Karate is and what it means to me.  

Cheers for now.

Jim. cool       

Tau's picture

Nice to be back on the forum!

Just briefly, I'm Pete from Worcestershire. My primary Martial Arts are Aiki-Jujitsu and Kempo Jujitsu but I'm also Dan graded in Kickboxing, Nigel Lee's Karate Jitsu and just three weeks ago Taekwondo.

I did Karate whilst at university and enjoyed Kata, but nothing else. I became interested in Iain's methods after learning of his Bunkai Jitsu which enabled me to enjoy Kata again and get so much more out of it.

I've met some people here already and hope to meet more of you in the future.

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

Hi all,

My name is Gavin Mulholland and I am a Goju Ryu practitioner.

I head up Daigaku Karate Kai and DKK Fighters in London and I look forward to hearing and debating with you all.


fredrik's picture


I'm 38 years old and live in Lund in the south of Sweden. My style is Kyokushin Karate. I thoroughly enjoy my martial arts training, in particular the kata, which provides me with a lot of confidence and positive energy. Apart from the dojo work I usually try to squeeze in a couple of heavy bag sessions each week - the bag really is an excellent training partner...

Thanks to Iain for his great books and videos! I'm sure to enjoy being part of this community.



Ives's picture

Hi my name is Paul, I have been studying a Gensei Ryu style since 2004.  I've been training informally in Ryukyu Kobujutsu Hozon Shinkokai for some years, rather little at the moment. I'm from the Netherlands and am in my late 20's. Hopefully we'll have some nice change of ideas!

Al Peasland
Al Peasland's picture

Hi, I'm Al Peasland and have known Iain for many years via our BCA connection.

I have around 25 years martial arts experience training unedr Geoff Thompson and am currently graded 5th Dan Senior BCA Instructor and one of Geoff's longest serving instructors.

I have trained in a wide variety or arts and currently teach them all unde the banner of Complete Self Protection

I run seminars around the UK and the rest of the world and was fortunate this year (2010) to have been invited to join Iain on a USA/UK seminar tour, Crossing The Pond.

If you want to find out more about me, my website is here:-


I look forward to reading the posts on this blog and sharing my thoughts - plus perhaps the odd naff joke ;-)  

Grasshopper Jeff
Grasshopper Jeff's picture

Hi everybody

I am an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (23 years), Shodan in Chito Ryu and Nidan in Shotokan.  I am most interested in oyo bunkai and really enjoy the applications found here and other places.



lcpljones_dontpanic's picture

Hi everyone

My name is Dave (another one), have been training in various martial arts for over 20 years started off with sensei Ian Cuthberts Wado ryu, Euro Budo (karate, judo & aikido amalgation) while based in Germany with HM forces, Kyushin ryu Jujitsu under sensei Roger Wilkes of Medway towns Kent, Bushido ryu Jujitsu - Sensei John Kay of Ashford Kent and currently JKA Shotokan under sensei Geoff Luker in Ashford. Have also dabbled with Kyokushinkai, Goju ryu, Ninjutsu and UK Quan Fa under sifu Neil McCarthy. Hold the following qualifications Army Arrest & Restraint Instructor and ABA Boxing Leader. 

Other than being a martial arts fanatic my other interests are live music rock or classical / opera and cooking.

Have been following Iain's way for a couple of years now, got the books, DVD's and been to a couple of seminars as the traditional pragmatic approach to studying martial arts for combative effectiveness is where my focus is drawn. 

miket's picture

Hi all, 'Mike T' from West Michigan, some of you may remember me.  I was a big fan/ participant of Iain's 'old' forum and just 'didn't make the migration' until recently.  Training in different arts for about 25 years now with a heavy emphasis in Shorin-Ryu and Suikendo.  Although I hate to characterize it this way, in 2008, I officially 'founded' 'my own' system, Unified Martial Arts.   Effectively, this amounted to 'giving a name'  to what I was already teaching, which was a 'blend' what I had learned elsewhere, and which I'm sure will be a controversial notion to some, particularly in that one of our training methods is the use of 'forms' that I have developed personally.  Despite my own present direction, however, I have a very healthy respect for all types of traditional martial arts (to the degree that they are taught with pragmatic emphasis), which is why I am a big fan of Iain's work and especially appreciative of the free forum's he has put together.

Looking forward to renewing old acquaintances and making new friends.