Recent Jujitsu Seminar where Mike & Clare ran a session on situational awareness & pre-emptive strike
Kenshinkan class in 2009
Early Goshin Ryu Course in Harrogate circa 2001 - Mike is far right
Mike with the other Goshin Ryu Black Belts after recieving his 1st DAN Black Belt from Soke Steve Barnett 10th DAN
Senior Student of the year winner at the Karate club - Otley 1993
Various pictures from the Karate Fighting and Kata Squads Mike regularly took part in the SKU and other Open Karate tournaments with other students & instructors from the Kyojin Karate Club in Otley
Mike & Clare receiving their 1st Dan certificates from Sensei Stan Knighton in 1997 - Mike refereeing the mens kumite at the SKU nationals and general foolery before the senior mens kata competition at the SKU National Competition
Mike is joint chief instructor at Kenshinkan Martial Arts, holding a 5th Degree Black belt in Goshin Ryu JuJitsu.
Mike and Clare teach at the Kenshinkan Martial Arts centre in Otley, West Yorks.
Mike also has been graded to 3rd Dan in Shukokai Karate by GRI and was awarded his 2nd Dan in Shukokai Karate under Sensei Knighton of the Shukokai Karate Union, training at the Kyojin Karate Club in Otley with Ken Gee, 8th Dan
Mike began his martial training in Scotland at the old age of 24, training in Aikido. After moving to Yorkshire with Clare (a native) Mike stopped training for some time until one day Clare joined the Otley karate club and Mike decided he would come along....
Having “got” the martial arts bug, Mike trained regularly 4 or 5 times a week and at the weekend often competed with the Kyojin Kumite and Kata squads. After attaining his black belt Mike trained in Judo and JuJitsu attending many clubs in the area until finding Steve Barnett 10th Dan of Goshin Ryu International.
Awarded 1st DAN by Sensei Steve Barnett
Steve Barnett 10th DAN
The ruthless effectiveness of Goshin Ryu jujitsu and the ability of smaller individuals to overcome much larger assailants convinced Mike that Goshin Ryu and Steve Barnett was the jujitsu style to concentrate on and Mike joined the club in 97.
Sensei Barnett is a combat jujitsu specialist, not to be confused with sport jujitsu Steve’s style is a no nonsense battlefield art. Goshin Ryu was founded in 1987 by Steve Barnett at the request of students who were disillusioned with the politics of Martial Arts. Goshin Ryu Jujitsu Kai, was purely a Jujitsu association. "Goshin Ryu International", is now a multi martial arts association and membership is open to all styles, clubs, associations and individuals, his instruction and friendship has been a mainstay of Mike & Clare over the years in their Jujitsu journey.
After grading for his 2nd degree black belt in Shukokai karate Mike left the SKU to join the Seidokan Karate Academy under Jeff Bottomley. Jeff is one of the countries best karate kumite coaches who has had several world champions. Mike trained with Jeff from 2001 to 2004 learning a vast amount about fighting technique and spirit.
From 1999 Mike and Clare had been teaching at the Kenshinkan Karate Academy in Wetherby, a club they took over from Sensei Damian Howden when he joined the Army, Mike and Clare returned the club back to Damian in 2008 to concentrate fully on Kenshinkan Martial Arts in Otley.
However Mike and Clare have both maintained a hunger for learning new techniques and concepts. As well as attending various seminars (Rick Young, Dan Inosanto and Neil Adams to name a few) Mike and Clare trained with Sensei Gary Donaghue in the Yorkshire Judo Association to attaint their Judo Brown belts and have trained in Kickboxing and Krav Maga to keep adding to their training, bringing these concepts to students in Otley.
For his full time employment Mike has had to travel and stay all round the UK and has taken the opportunity to train in many Karate, Jujitsu and Judo clubs, including spending some time at the famous London JudoKan with Sensei Percy Sekine who in the 90’s as an 8th Dan was one of the highest ranking Jodoka outside Japan, who taught Judo in the POW camps in Japan during the war.
A situation familiar to Mike, being thrown, hard, by Clare
After realising that being 5’6” and in the heavyweight class with much taller people was not the ideal Karate Kumite mix, Mike started refereeing for both the Shukokai Karate Union and becoming certified by the English Karate Governing Body. Refereeing to a national level was a hugely demanding activity and time did not permit Mike to continue it whilst training in Jujitsu and running 2 martial arts clubs, plus holding down a full time job!
However Mike still often competed in the Kata class and has won many regional competitions for Kata, which is a demanding and precise activity which develops great speed and accuracy of movement, skills learnt doing Kata are massively useful to all martial arts and Goshin Ryu International has brought in new jujitsu based kata’s to provide students with this excellent training method.
Mike still regularly trains during the teaching lessons, looking forward to there being “odd numbers” so he can join in the training with the students. Mike and Clare continue to develop their skills and those of their students by adding in elements from MMA, Kickboxing, Krav Maga and Gracie Jujitsu - but the Goshin Ryu core of ruthless self protection remains the backbone of Kenshinkan Martial Arts now and for years to come.
Thanks for reading, I have been privileged to train with some of the countries leading martial arts coaches over the years as mentioned, I would like to thank all the teachers who have helped me to develop my skills, whatever they are, I wish I had time to continue training with them all, as every training session I have ever been too has been worthwhile.
In particular though I would like to thank the uke’s (my partners) who have pushed me to my limits over the years. Nick Rook in Karate who kicked so hard I felt sick just holding the pad, Sensei Julian Tan who let me be his assistant for some time at his club in Bingley and Damian Howden who sharpened up my fighting skills by side-kicking holes in my abdomen at every session!
But 2 people need special mention, My wife Clare with whom I have trained for many years and who I have seen develop into one of the most experienced, skilled and knowledgeable martial artists I have ever known - male or female. I remember fondly being “told off” by various instructors about throwing Clare too hard, only to see their looks of sympathy when it was her go!
And also a special mention for Sensei Jeremy Stretch 3rd DAN, a good friend for many years who’s determination and temper fuelled many (sometimes bloody) duels as we trained at the Seidokan Karate Club and as we both developed our jujitsu skills the carnage continued - cheers mate!