1st Dan Judo, Club Coach, Club Welfare Officer
From an early age I have always been involved in one form of combat discipline or another. My Judo journey did not start until I was at the age of 14yrs old. My coach was Maxine Ball and the club was the mighty Shukongo Shin Judo Club.
We first trained out of the Collingwood Youth Club in North Shields then onto Western Primary School years later. When I first started training and competing in Judo we were registered under the BJC. We travelled up and down the country most weekends competing.
I started Judo later than most people at the age of 14 but I very quickly went through my grades and was awarded my Junior Black Belt in the BJC by the late Bob Glass. As a junior I fought in many team tournaments at places such as Eccles, area tournaments were very popular at the time, as a junior I captained Team Newcastle as it was called at the time and also was a part of Team Northumberland Boys and also had a place at the same time on the Team Northumberland Senior Team. As a club we had a very strong team of players well known all over the country at BJC competitions ( my weight category as a junior was +60kg ) Our Coach wanted to take us to the next level so it was at that point we moved over to the BJA and began entering those tournaments.
I was graded as a 1st Kyu when we moved over and soon after was awarded my First Dan at the Crowtree Centre after winning all of my 5 fight line up. ( my fighting weight category in the BJA was the old weight of 71kg now it’s classed as 73kg )
At the age of around 19 I searched for more challenges and started training in Vale Tudo ( Meaning in English anything goes ) that was over 20yrs ago now, in recent years it seems everyone is training in MMA.
My Judo journey started again in 2011 at Battlehill Judo Club writing this I am 41yrs of age and the love I first had of the the sport is back although now the last time I fought it was in the category of +100kg, but now for me it’s not about me it’s now about putting back into the sport that I have gained so much from over the years on and off the mat.
I am really enjoying coaching and the excitement and reward that comes with that, deep down I don’t think I can say I won’t ever again compete....maybe in a year or 2 I might think go on just one last time and put my name down and enter a competition who knows....people that have competed in the past will understand what I mean by that, no matter how old you get I don’t think I could ever say I will never compete again.
Favourite Techniques - O-soto-gari, It’s a simple to understand technique for new beginners but when mastered its so powerful and effective.
UKCC Level 2 Coach, Member of BJA