Karate, as it was intended, goes far beyond the constraints of combat efficiency, it’s a complete approach to living that can greatly enrich our life experience.
My approach is based upon the lessons with my teacher and draws on over thirty years training in karate and shiatsu therapy. It presents a holistic approach to karate by restoring many of the aspects that have fallen by the wayside in mainstream dojos. Methods of unlocking muscular tension to ‘open the body up, old-type Shuri kata, practised the way they were intended and breathing and meditative aspects to repair broken power-lines, strengthen the immune system and empower us to reconnect with are true direction.
My journey differs to most in that from the age of twenty I have mostly trained outside of mainstream dojos, seeking instruction, often privately, from a number of key teachers that I felt had something I was looking for. Karate has always been my life, the one thing that I truly own. It has lifted me up and been a constant boon in challenging times.
At the age of eighteen, whilst living and training in Japan, I met an elderly gentleman who recalled training with the founder of modern karate, Gichin Funakoshi, in his youth. The conversation and impromptu training session we had made me realise that remnants of an older fighting art still existed on Okinawa and so I set out to find it.
Much of this journey was documented in my first book ‘The Karate-ka: A search for the old to understand the new”, a travel journal styled read spanning over twenty years of training under various teachers. Today, a frequent visitor to Okinawa, I train privately with Higa Kiyohiko of the Bugeikan in Shuri. The Bugeikan first opened in 1954 under my teacher’s father Higa Seitoku who deliberately sought to preserve a number of archaic styles of Okinawan bujutsu from a swelling wave of sport motivated karate.
Consequently my training focusses upon three core areas of:
- Tachimura-ha Syuri-ti
- Hanashiro Chomo Karate
- Yamane ryu Bojutsu
As a professional shiatsu therapist for the past twenty years, my approach to training focusses on restoring a number of lesser known health related practices into traditional Okinawan karate training; this I refer to as Health-Defence.
Currently residing in the UK I teach Okinawan Karate within a number of London Schools and continue to write about Okinawa and the Fighting Arts. On the island I play an active role, researching and documenting aspects of Ryukyuan martial history, my current writing projects include a treatise on the karate of Hanashiro Chomo and a text on developing a health conscious return to traditional Okinawan training methods.
Awarded 5th dan in 2011, during the Spring of 2018 my teacher afforded me a great honour by declaring me Kancho of the Bugeikan outside of Okinawa. My aims for the future are to preserve the teachings I have received and continue to spread awareness of Okinawan martial arts.