|Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation in Bedfordshire, England|
In 1985, aged 11yrs, he joined the Traditional Association of Shotokan Karate (TASK) in Flitwick, Befordshire. This was a newly opened Dojo at the brand new Sports Centre in Flitwick. The association was headed by John van Weenen, who taught regularly at the Dojo. Other regular instructors were his wife Jane van Weenen and Derek Barnett. Guest instructors at TASK included: Bob Poyton, Mick Randall, Mick Nursey, Ticky Donovan and Sean Roberts.
In 1993, after 7yrs of hard training, Stephen took his Shodan (black belt) grading at the Hombu in Beford and passed on his first attempt. 2yrs later Stephen was awarded 2nd Dan and 3rd Dan in 1999. During this time Stephen was competing and training regularly with the EKGB squad on their open sessions. Stephen achieved good results in both Kumite and Kata competitions, including wining the TASK mens Black Belt Kumite and Kata 4yrs in a row.
Towards the end of 2004, after being a member of TASK for 19 years, Stephen decided to leave TASK and join Kanazawa Sensei's SKIF. This allowed Stephen to have greater access to the senior Japanese instructors and to expand his Karate by practising other styles including : Shindo-Jinen Ryu (Ryobu Kai) with Yamazaki Sensei and Sensei Simon Oliver; Shito-Ryu (MKD) with Shihan Minakami; Yamani-Ryu Bo-Jutsu; Nunchaku.
As per the SKKIF constitution Stephen was required to re-take his last grading and register his grade with SKIF HQ Japan. Stephen re-took his 3rd Dan grading in 2006, the examiner was Kancho Kanazawa (10th Dan). During 2006 Stephen was selected to compete in the SKIF World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. During his visit to Japan Stephen also trained at Konishi Sensei's Ryobukan Dojo.
2008 saw Stephen's second visit to Japan. This time he went with Sensei Simon Oliver and a group of friends. The trip included training at Konishi Sensei's Ryobukan Dojo and several visits to the SKIF Hombu in Tokyo.
In 2009 Stephen graded to 4th Dan again with Kancho Kanazawa as the examiner. Also in 2009 Stephen was once again selected to compete for the UK Team in the 10th SKIF World Championships, Athens.
During his 25yrs+ of training Stephen has trained all over the World including Club-la-Santa (Teneriffe), Denver (Colorado), Washington (DC), Sydney (Australia), Brno (Czech Republic) and Tokyo (Japan).
regularly in Flitton, Bedfordshire. He has also been a guest instructor
at many other Dojo including: Kodokai
(Watford), SKKIF Courses, Gasshuku
(2006-2014), Terry Wittkopp's TSKR,
Mark Kupsz's BSKC,
Iain Tyrie's Shintai, CFTS
plus self defence courses for local organisations. Stephen is already
being booked up for 2014/15.
Yondan (4th Dan) - examiner Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa (SKIF)
England Team member, 10th SKIF World Championships, Athens
Times & Citizen Article
Karate Est. 2002
Affiliated to: Shotokan Karate Kanazawa - Ryu International Federation / Shotokan Karate-do International Federation