Like many people of my age, I took up Karate in the early 70s, influence by the worldwide phenomenon that was Bruce Lee. I trained in Wado Ryu for a couple of years, and moved on to play Rugby Union through my college years. Marriage, children and responsibilities came along, and Karate seemed the sort of activity that could accommodate my need for physical activity and the calls that a young family can place on you. I never really lost that romantic view of martial arts, formed in the early 70s. As an art student my interest in things Japanese was cultivated with the films studied as part of my Graphic Design course which had a distinct Japanese focus. I developed an interest in illustrators like Aubrey
Beardsley and Kay Neilson, which led me back in
to Japanese artist like Utagawa
Hiroshige & Katsushika Hokusai. Finally some
of the best graphics magazines were, and still are Japanese. Publications like
"Idea" had a big influence on my design development. So returning to a Japanese
martial art was a little inevitable.
I started training in Shotokan Karate in 1983, my instructor is John
Cheetham 4th Dan JKA and is the editor of Shotokan
Karate Magazine. Below is a quote from his editorial in the 100th
edition of the magazine (The 25th Anniversary edition) it just about sums up my involvement with the magazine.
I also want to thank the two other members of the SKM ‘team’, Clare Worth 3rd Dan, SKM secretary, who does all the administration, advertising, subscriptions and a million other things and has done for the past 17 years. And Graeme Armitage 3rd Dan, SKM webmaster and graphic designer who deals with all things cyber/technical/digital etc., plus designing 90% of all the adverts that appear in SKM. Graeme has been with SKM since issue No.2 (Feb 1985) and has trained with me since 1983. Clare has trained in Shotokan with me since 1992, so we have all taken the journey – both Shotokan karate-do and SKM together for many, many happy years.
My job as editor is to decide on the content and material for the magazine and find a balance of articles and subjects with which to maintain the standard everyone has become accustomed to. Hopefully I’m getting it right. The main thing that has kept me going with SKM for 25 years is the fact that I am a practicing Shotokan karateka as are Clare and Graeme and we still train, week in week out, rain or shine.
Being involved with the magazine I have had the good fortune to train with with Japanese instructors like Senseis Kagawa, Kawazoe, Saito and Kato. Non Japanese instructors Dave Hooper, Scott Langley, John Mullins and many more.