Author Topic: Karate...a minority sport?  (Read 3162 times)

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Offline Stan Dyson

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Karate...a minority sport?
« on: 09 July, 2008, 12:40:11 PM »
I was absolutely mad about table tennis, a premier division player in the 60's & almost County class, when someone invited me to have a go at their karate club.  I was hooked, dropped table tennis like a hot potato & devoted 28 years to karate.  I achieved black belt in Kyokushinkai style in 1972 at Ticky Donovans Dagenham Club and stayed with him when he formed his Ishinryu style.  I was instructor at 2 large Essex clubs and retired from the sport in 1996.  Am I the only one of the posters on this site who got seriously involved in this sport?  In December 2007 I went back to competetive table tennis again...it's a bit like riding a bike, you never forget & I have already improved to the standard that will take me back into premier standard & play competetively in both the Basildon & Southend table tennis leagues.  Attached is a pic of me in full flight in my karate haydays. - Stan

Offline billyboyo

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Re: Karate...a minority sport?
« Reply #1 on: 09 July, 2008, 03:28:13 PM »
Stan, I had a go at karate in the seventies when I was working at the RAF Mildenhall gym. I was the Athletic Director then, responsible for Varsity level sports, (interbase sports.) There were then nine American Air Bases involved in sports throughout the UK. I was also the Boxing Coach and Football Coach, (soccer,) and I trained the American Football team. We had a total of 22 sports running at any one time. I had a hand in introducing Karate to the list. We imported a Korean 7th or 8th Dan for instruction. Back in those days I was still playing local football at a reasonable level, coaching and playing in the East Anglian Combination League. I was not the most skilfull of players but I was one of the fittest. I ran between five and ten mile a day to maintain that level. When the karate class began I watched from the sidelines ensuring that all was going well. Eventually I was encouraged to have a go. I looked forward to it, I purchased a ghia, (I think that's how it's spelt.) joined in with the forms, then began sparring, (randoori I believe it's called,) with a well built black fellow wearing a black belt. Now remember, this is without gloves on. Anyhow, he kept caling me to punch him as we danced around. I was reluctant to at the time as his jaw was always fully exposed, but he kept insisting, pushing his left shoulder toward me. Finally I dispatched a right cross fully loaded from my shoulder aiming for his left one. His arm lifted slightly and my ungloved fist connected with his elbow. He collasped on the floor in agony with a broken elbow. That was the end my short career in the sport of karate. However, the team did become quite good in the future, but I kept myself in the backgound. Bill Ewing.   
Born in custom house canning town, bombed out twice, moved to denmark street where i went to denmark street school.

Offline Stan Dyson

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Re: Karate...a minority sport?
« Reply #2 on: 09 July, 2008, 06:07:11 PM »
Hi Bill - Well done mate, so you had a go then?  I'm sure having both viewed and taken part in it you will be able to confirm how physically fit you need to be, and able to withstand pain, in order to progress in the sport?  The name of the karate suit is called a Gi and the fighting is called Kumite.  I think Judo fighting may be called randoori?  Well, in 1974 I was part of the Barking Karate team that Ticky Donovan put together to travel to Mildenhall to take part in the Southern Area Karate Championships arranged by an American Taekwondo Black Belt called Chris Batt.  Lots of the fighters were American airforce men.  Well, there was one strange tall (about 6' 2") American black belt who looked the image of 'Alfalfa', the tall skinny guy in the old 'Little Rascals' Saturday morning kids film shows.  I ended up fighting him and I caught him with a really hard roundhouse kick in the face that knocked him dazed to the ground - nearly got disqualified for excessive contact, but went on to win.  In fact Barking Ishinryu karate club cleared the board in all team, individual and kata events.  As per below photo of the entire Barking squad and all our trophies.  The American organiser Chris Batt, is the blonde headed guy in the centre with his left hand resting on me. 

Offline billyboyo

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Re: Karate...a minority sport?
« Reply #3 on: 10 July, 2008, 02:03:08 PM »
Stan. was this picture taken in the Mildenhall Gym, it appears to be. If so then your group would have been standing in front of the raquet ball courts. Not as some Brits would think, squash courts. This area is what we called the free excercise room. At the other end was the weight room. The store room alongside housed all of the mats, including one that was twenty four feet by twenty four. We could also erect a boxing ring in this area, although when boxing and wrestling smokers was held it was in the main hall where basketball was played. Now, depending on the day you were there we must have seen each other, because as Athletic Director it was my responsibility to make sure every thing ran smoothly when such events was conducted. However, if it were on the Saturday I could have been with the football team. Either the English form or American football. Regarding Judo. Did you ever come across a chap by the name of Terry Weller, a detective sgt with the Cambridge Police? He was quite high up in the Judo ratings, 5th or 6th Dan, he did at one time fight the world champion. Back in the late sixties early seventies he coached quite a few Americans from Mildenhall, although he did his training in Cambridge. He was quite a character. Bill Ewing.
Born in custom house canning town, bombed out twice, moved to denmark street where i went to denmark street school.

Offline Stan Dyson

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Re: Karate...a minority sport?
« Reply #4 on: 10 July, 2008, 06:21:26 PM »
Well Bill, I just cannot recall the venue, just that it was at some sort of sports centre in Mildenhall.  There were a lot of American soldiers fighting in the tournament, but we beat them all!  As well as Chris Batt, another black belt karate guy from the area was called Mick Blackwell.  I am afraid that I did not know anyone in the sport of judo, as I stuck rigidly to karate. - Stan