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swdw's picture

Well I haven't been around much lately, mostly because of time spent remodeling the house. Now I need to try and make sure everything gets done before Iain shows up this summer. My background is pretty simple. I started in Shotokan for 2 1/2 years. For the last 28 years I've trained in the Shobukan branch of Goju and some Matayoshi kobudo. Have had the same sensei for those 28 years. If you're wondering what would make me stick with someone for 28 years, you can get somewhat of an idea from this article. MASANOBU SHINJO, LEE GRAY AND THE SHOBUKAN - THE OTHER GOJU RYU

Find myself still being amazed at the new things I learned in Goju every month.

Teach a small group of kids and adults. Have been teaching on and off for about 19 years. Besides the knowledge and the skills I've learned, I appreciate the chance to get to know people I wouldn't otherwise have met simply because I practice martial arts.  

Jörg Bellinghausen
Jörg Bellinghausen's picture

Hi everybody!

Although I'm a fan of Iain's books for quite a while, I joined the forums just today.

Here's a brief info on me: Born 1970, started fencing in 1981 and never stopped; although my primary focus switched to Historical European Martial Arts in 1991, which I teach in my school and abroad.

I trained Shotokan karate from 1987/88 until 1990 and just started again after a long hiatus. In the meantime, I have trained in various other arts with varying levels of intensity.

That should do for the moment.



Bob Hopwood
Bob Hopwood's picture

Hello! My name is Bob Hopwood.  I have been practicing kyokushin karate for 26 years as of this post.  I write "kyokushin" but I have been hesitant to use a style name as I have come to believe this can be limiting and innacurate. I have long been interested in the practical application of karate as recorded by kata.  I am a regular listener of the Iain Abernethy podcasts and have read, re-read, and studied all of Iain's books.  I've also purchased and read books by other authors on similar topics, many of which are recommended by Iain.  Also, I bought whichever of the 10 books I did not already own that were highlighted on a recent podcast. :-) I see Gavin M is on this forum. His book, Four Shades of Black, is one of those and I am enjoying it.

I operate a Dojo in Monroe, Connecticut, USA and the website is http://www.ConnecticutBudo.com where you can find a little more information about me and my teachers. I am married and a father of 4 children, each 20 months apart, from ages 9 to 14 years.

I am looking forward to catching up on this forum and hopefully having something to contribute in the future.

Mitch's picture

Hi folks, I'm Mitch, a TKD Instructor and Enshin student. I know a number of members here from various places, nice to see everyone here as well. :)


Boundsj1830's picture

I’m James, from California. 33 years old, married, with two boys aged 7 and 10. I started training in karate about 5 years ago. The basic style taught was Shorin-ryu, and it was heavily influenced by Krav Maga which was also taught at that location. After a couple of years I wanted a more “traditional” style of karate, so I moved to a Shito-ryu dojo. However, I soon learned that “traditional” meant WKF Tournament Karate. The head instructor/owner there was very knowledgeable and helped me correct several issues that I had with my forms and basics. He also taught that Kata was more than a dance, and Bunkai was a part of his syllabus. However the focus of his teaching was not for self defense but for tournaments. From the writings my instructor suggested I read by Funakoshi and others, I could tell that karate had much more to offer than just the sport aspect. Wanting to learn as much as I could about other styles, and as the sparring practiced at the dojo was strictly tournament sparring, I did some free sparring with a friend of mine who was really into Judo. He ended up giving me Iain’s book Bunkai-Jutsu. It was like seeing written down what was going through my head. Karate was presented as a complete system other than just block/punch/kick. I don’t have a lot of experience, although this site seems like a great avenue to aid in my continued study of karate and martial arts as a whole.

DaveB's picture

Hello All,

I'm David, from London. I've a slightly heretical Shotokan and Taekwondo background with a few years of southern kungfu as well. I've been interested in and working out my own kata applications from day one (which was some point in 98), and was pleasantly surprised when I found that many of my beliefs and ideas were mirrored in Iain's podcasts, so here I am.

I'm the first to admit that these days I'm a bit of a web warrior due to injury, family and work commitments, but I train when I can and I enjoy the mental challenge of understanding the nature of Karate. I look forward to discussing with you all!

Quick question: Is there a list of dojo's that subscribe to Iain's methods anywhere on this site?

Is there

Harald's picture

Dear members of the list,

please forgive me not to have introduced myself by giving some personal lines. I failed to realized this possibility.

I´ve started with martial arts (shotokan karate) at the end of 13 years. I also did boxing and taekwondo. To basic judo techniques I got introduced in my yout by my cousin who no holds also at least a 3rd dan in jiujitsu. If possible, I try to test the applicability of kata bunkai with him;-)

In addition to shotokan I´ve got experience in shito ryu (with Carlos Molina). Carlos was a former supervisor in self-defense in Guatemal for the army. He´s 7. dan and uchi-deshi of Kenei Mabuni. For about tow years I had some practice in goju ryu and aikido. And from 2008 onwards I´ve attend some wado (and shindo yoshin ryu) stages in Germany.I live in Wuppertal at the moment and have used this situation to visit lessons in Düsseldorf by Imai sensei (8.dan wado ryu).

Nowadays , I don´t do much sports competition training but am more interested in budo (self-defense) karate.

I´m working on changing my karate from hard to soft. Some personal injuries told me that this would be not a bad idea.

Thanks for having the opportunity to converse with you,


Th0mas's picture

Hi all

My name is Tom Runge, I live in the South East of England, married with 3 kids and have been doing Karate since 1986.

Although I am a shotokan karate practitioner, I would hardly be recognised as a dyed in th Wool "traditionalist" (whatever that means) and have spent most of my martial arts "career" stealing ideas from other people. Iain Abernethy is no exception.

My training career has been slightly peripatetic; I started training in somerset with John Ponsillo and Evan Poetti (KUGB) whist at school, I joined Martial Street  (Enoeda Dojo) in the late 80's and trained there until University. I trained with Zoltan Dienese at Sussex University, and as part of the SSKD (SEKO) got my shodan with Dave Harzard in 1992. Since then I have trained with a number of different instructors and for the last 10 years have trained with Rod de Silva and his motley crew in South Croydon (associated with Steve Hyland).

Not feeling a need to grade until finally getting bullied into it, got round to Nidan in 2006 and Sandan in 2010.

danpt's picture

Hi everyone, my name is Dan Trailescu, I'm originally from Germany, have spent about half my life in the UK and moved to Vienna a few months ago after finishing University.

I'm relatively new to martial arts, my main art is Aikido, which I have been practicing for about 6 years. I also used to practice Kickboxing (style mostly based on Karate) for about 5 years and Capoeira for about 4, and at least try any other martial arts I could get my hands on while I was a student. Currently I train in Aikido and Krav Maga, though in limited amounts since I'm still recovering from knee surgery last year.

I very much look forward to having some good discussions on this forum, as both me and some of my Aikido instructors are very much in agreement with a lot of the views expressed in Iain's podcasts & articles, and I'm greatly in favour of taking other people's styles, viewpoints and experiences into account and using them to test and expand on what we currently believe & do:)

Cheers everyone,


Stan Meador
Stan Meador's picture


My name is Stan.

I've been involved with various martial arts for over 25 years now. I've moved around a lot so have dabbled in many styles. My ranked styles are karate and aikijutsu.

Enjoying the forum! Thanks Iain!


Michael Stolberg
Michael Stolberg's picture

Hi everybody!

I have been training for 12 years in Shotokan karate and am a 2nd Dan with the JKA (Canada).

Though I am quite new to bunkai done in the manner as presented on this website, I thoroughly enjoy learning it. I also had the pleasure to attend Sensei Iain's seminar in Canada.

I study sport science (kinesiology) in university and would like to apply peer reviewed scientific findings to training as I believe it is the soundest way to train.

Hope to learn and share ideas with the all members,


Enrico's picture

Hi everybody, my name is Enrico, I live in a small town in Italy. My journey in martial arts began a few years ago with aikijutsu (yoseikan style: the old one from Mochizuki Minoru, not the new version by his son), but now I practice shotokan karate. My main interest is in katas and their application. I suspect I'm in the right place ;)

Josh Nixon
Josh Nixon's picture

Hey everbody, I started training in 2002 up here in Stoke, learning a kind of hybrid between Krav Maga and Kung Fu (it's not as weird as it sounds; actually very effective), and later branched out into many systems, some through classes and others self-taught and trained/tested with various training partners. Through that, trying to find all the things that work well and weed out or improve those that don't work very well in my training, I devised the Combative Self-Protection System, and recently set myself up with the BCA, which is excellent. (The BCA that is; as for CSPS we have yet to find out!) I never thought I'd get the chance while still at university, but I was requested by a local school and couldn't refuse. (^_^)

I've recently found Iain on Twitter and enjoyed his practical and common-sense approach, which is really important to me, being more from a self-protection POV than a martial arts one. I look forward to discussing stuff on here whenever I get the chance! 

Maxime Pornin
Maxime Pornin's picture

Hi Everyone

My name is Maxime, from France. I have my job in Paris, but will get back to northwestern Normandy (near Cherbourg) whenever possible. I started Shotokan Karate at the age of 14, some 25 years ago, and it has been a part of my life ever since. However, one has to split his available time time between work, leisure and family ... so my years of regular training in a Dojo are clearly  not the majority of the last 25. I have trained in various clubs in France, and I am a shodan in Shotokan since 2001. As a student, I spent one year as an exchange student in Japan an had the opportunity to train at the local University : an interesting if somewhat painful experience.

Come to think of it, it seems I have spent more time "thinking" my Karate than actually practicing, and indeed deciphering Kata applications has been a long time personal interest. I read a number of books until I came upon Iain's, and got really seduced by his very sound approach to Bunkai : it did a great lot to my own research.

I hope to get the opportunity to exchange views and ideas with you all and to learn even more

Meilleures salutations à tous

-- Maxime

Michael Hough
Michael Hough's picture

Hello everyone. I've recently joined the forum, and posted a couple times before noticing this thread. Sorry for messing up protocol.

My name is Mike, and I'm from Omaha, Nebraska, USA. I started training in Tae Kwon Do as a youngster, and went off to college with ten years of training and a black belt. In college I studied Shudokan Karate-Do, but I'd be hard-pressed to describe the difference between that and the TKD I learned as a kid. This was my first clue.

After college, I trained informally in a number of arts, taught TKD for several years, and eventually realized that I was missing something. It was a silat seminar that sent me on the right track. The concpets we were practicing that day sure looked a lot like Karate kata.

I eventually found Iain's books and videos, and then recently got to meet him at Marc MacYoung's BBQ. This is the Karate I want to practice.

Thanks for everything you've shared. I hope I can contribute something as well.

Nomad's picture

I'm Chris, and I've trained for ~10 years in karate in San Diego, CA, and have reached Nidan level.  I have been teaching for some time from the rote memorization route, and want to go deeper into the kata and applications for my own training.

I've been a fan of Iain's books, videos and podcasts for awhile now, and finally got around to joining the forums here.

Jason Lester
Jason Lester's picture

Jason Lester 4th Dan

wayne williams
wayne williams's picture

Hey everyone.

My Name is Wayne Williams and i live in Essex. I first started my martial arts training as an 8yr old in 1969 with judo. i practiced until 17yrs old then work and women became a distraction. I still to this day remember seeing a display at the dojo i used as a kid in the 60's of this amazing MA called karate. who it was i have no idea but i always fancied having a go. It was a few years later that i attended one of Ticky Donovans dojo in east ham in London with sensei Will Verner practicing Ishin Ryu. Once again i lost focus and after a few years quit and moved house. The place i moved to had a dojo in my sons school and as he showed an interest i started to take him on a regular basis and was the only parent that sat in on the lessons. Eventually i got talked into buying a Gi and that was 15rys ago. Graded shodan then nidan with chief instructor of the BKA Brian Seabright shihan. Having until about 5yrs ago practiced the typical 3K karate, my sensei introduced me to the theories of a certain Iain Abernethy sensei. Eurika!    I was blind and now i can see! I have used these methords ever since. The Wado i practice has for the last 5 yrs or so has been a different system and i have found that cross training in Ju Jitsu was even more helpful. Over the last few years i have sought out as many of the pragmatic stylists as possible and have had the pleasure of training with masters such as Pat McCarthy Hanshi, Terry Wingrove Hanshi, Brian Herbert Hanshi, Don Came sensei and on many occasions Iain Abernethy sensei. I have my own small dojo now which i enjoy very much. I think Karate has made me a better person generally and i will always study even when my body is too old to practice.

Best Regards      Wayne

dragon's picture

G'day from WA Australlia, my name is Dale, I started karate at age 34 to get my kids involved, I have 4. All ba one have left and it is now just Alex and me. I am a Sandan in shotokan karate, Shodan in Japanese ju jitsu and 1st kyu in Matayoushi ryu kobudo, started karate with the door knockers and eventually found Nigel Sensei at the Martial Arts Education centre. Thanks to Sensei my karate has improved and expanded greatly which lead me your site looking for ideas on the way. iam now 46 and we do not do competitions. i have been teaching for 9yrs ( relatively new teacher by comparison to others ob this site) training for 12yrs. my focus has soley been on shotokan karate until 5 years ago when i found sensei Nigel at the martisl arts education centre. We do incorporate self protection based on your applied karate techniques.

Drew Loto
Drew Loto's picture

Hello everyone!

My name is Drew.  I'm from the US north east.  I began training in Karate when I was six years old in 1996, and continue to this day.  In addition to my Karate practice, I have explored Wing Chun, and currently also practice Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu.  I describe my experiences in Karate as "practice" and not "study" because that is what I have done for most of my life.  After looking through Iainabernethy.com and reading this forum extensively, I am inspired to study my karate with the same intellectual rigor that everyone else on this forum seems to use.

I frequently spend time thinking about how I might teach my own students some day, and look forward to engaging with members of this community in meaningful dialogue to that end.

Creidiki's picture

Cheers, my name Is Jouni. I'm 39, from Finland and train Shotokan Karate as taught by late Sensei Kase Taiji i.e. Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha. I   recently got my 1.st kyu, currently training for my Shodan.

Sot to the site after reading Iain's Bunkaijutsu. Allways looking for a new angle on kata.

mike23's picture

Hi! I'm Mike from the United States, specificly the state of Massachusetts! I started practicing Matsubayashi ryu karate in the mid 70's and continue to practice and teach! I belong to a small association. We're not strict Matsubayashi ryu, we do some Goju kata also. I've had fun with Jiu-jitsu for some years now- but like I say- only for the workout it gives me! I continue to realise how little I know and enjoy the continued suprizes of information I find! I enjoy karate and hope to learn a lot form these forums and newsletters! 



MykeB's picture

Hello all, I'm Myke a mostly Matsubayashi Ryu guy in north east Tennessee.  I've been training since 1993, wresteled in high school before that.  There has been a smattering of Shotokan, some American Kenpo and BJJ over the years.  I've been lucky enough to befriend and work with a couple of really good instructors, a pro fighter and have a couple of good guys to train with now.  Joining this site has been a while coming as I've listen to the podcasts for more than three years now, subscribed to the Jissen magazine and bought Mr. Abernethy's videos and books.  I'm interested in my martial arts having relivence in self defense and remaining traditional while not being hindbound.

koshinkai's picture

Hello friends,

My name is Nathan Ogden.  I have been involved in the martial arts for 21 years and I still enjoy it.  I teach in West Plains, MO. at Xtreme Karate and MMA and act as the adult self defense instructor teaching Koshinkai Karate & Kobudo.

I am the director and founder of our fledgling society known as the Koshinkai Bujutsu Kai and I enjoy learning and teaching to and from my friends and mentors.

Outside of the martial arts, I am a teacher of government, psychology and sociology as well as involved in ministry teaching about the love of Jesus Christ.  I love music and play in two band; one is secular (Classic rock, blues, funk, alternative) and the other is Christian.  I love riding motorcycles and spending time with my wife, kids, and friends.

I am excited about making new friends here, learning all I can and sharing whatever I have learned.

Katz's picture

Hmm, don't think I've  introduced myself yet. Let's fix that!

My name's Alex. I just got my first Dan in the World Tang Soo Do Association at the time I write these lines. I've also done a whole lot of Judo when I was younger, although circumstances made me stop shortly before actually getting my black belt.

I've done all my Tang Soo Do (going on 5 years now) in the US. For realz, I'm French, though, and going back to France ASAP. There's no French WTSDA studio, so in order to continue training, I'm planning to open my own studio.

I appreciate the technical side of martial arts, but I am very interested in self-defense applications. Expect to see me at some seminar or other once I'm back in the Old World. :D

craig cunliffe
craig cunliffe's picture

hi all

my names craig. i have been training in martial arts for about 25 years, mainly in karate budokan. i have also trained in many other arts such as submission wrestling and even  done a professional cage fight!!! for me though  all paths lead back to karate. looking forward to sharing information and joining in on some good topics on here. i am currently running my own martial arts school in wigan were i teach and train.

best wishes


Kevin Woods
Kevin Woods's picture

My name is Kevin Woods. I live in Ethel, MS. I've been training in Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, Jujutsu, and Judo on and off since 1990. I'm currently a 1st Gup in Tang Soo Do under Master Frank Keeton of Red Hills Martial Arts in Ackerman, MS. We are chartered by the Namido Yudanshakai under the leadership of Shihan Micheal Frazier of Morton, MS. I'm also an amature blacksmith/bladesmith.

Christopher Cri...
Christopher Crittenden's picture

Greetings all,

My name is Christopher Crittenden.  I live on the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Mississippi in the US.  I began training in Shotokan the first time when I was 7, then due to moving around not again until age 12.  I received my shodan in 1991 at age 16.  I've since studied some Wing Chun, Escrima, Taijiquan, Iaido and Aikido.  My first love will always be Okinawan karate though.  I'm a Spanish teacher by profession.  I teach at a local junior college here.  I look forward to learning lots here on this site from Iain and everyone else.  After browsing the topics and comments, I feel that this site and forum are exactly what I've been looking for.

Kind Regards,

Christopher Crittenden

Michael B
Michael B's picture

I am 60 years old and have been studying karate since I was 49. It is part of my "delay the decline" program. Seems to be working so far. 

I spent over ten years studying Shuri-te and Shorin-ryu. The instructors both taught mostly tournament "fighting." Several years ago, I discovered Bill Burgar's "Five Years, One Kata" which showed me why I had been so discontented. I was being taught how to dance, not defend myself. I then found Iain's books, The Way of Kata, and Bunkai-Jutsu. Real eye-openers.

I have been practicing alone in my home for nearly two years and I am hoping to find a training partner, soon. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. If you know anyone who might want to join me, I would like to meet them. 


Cricket's picture


My name is Jim and I am a current practitioner of Chung Do Kwan TKD (11 years and counting).  My school has retained the Japanese/Okinawan forms as well as a 3K’s approach to practice but in researching the history and aims of karate I have decided to take a more applied/practical approach to my so far kick/block/punch methods.  Fortunately I took some judo before I even knew of its applicability to TKD and am considering some cross training in the near future.  If there are others in the Western New York area that would like to share some ideas, send me a message.