Tony was awarded the title 'Renshi' by Kancho on the 10th May 2009 although presented to him by kancho on 10th May, the diploma was dated 26th March 2009, his 60th Birthday!
Renshi which is one of three recognised titles issued by the Shogo; the other two being ‘Kyoshi’ and ‘Hanshi’ respectively. 練士, 'Renshi' is an official title in Japanese society, which originated in the samurai warrior class, and means a 'Polished Master' of a particular martial art (see Renshi info page).
Tony's karate training history is somewhat chequered but has always
been rooted in Shotokan, with a little Wado Ryu on the side.
Tony actually started training in 1960 in Judo at the age of 10, as a member of the British Judo Council (chief instructor Otani sensei); continued Judo training for about 10 years (overlapping some 7 years with karate) and reached black-belt level. He also achieved kyu grades in Aikido, and tried out kendo at about the same time, but never took a kendo grading.
He started Karate training in 1963 at Kagami Shin Budokan, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent,
UK. The club instructor was John Shaw, then a 3rd Dan Judo and Kendo
who sadly passed away in 2004. John Lovatt taught the Karate, he
was 3rd Kyu at the time, is now 5th Dan Renshi awarded by Butokukai,
Kyoto and is now the UK chief instructor for Eishin Ryu. They were
affiliated to the British Karate Council (Kenshiro Abbe, 8th Dan
Judo), practicing a JKA type Shotokan. They then affiliated to Karate-do
Shotokai, with Mitsusuke Harada 5th Dan, a direct student of Gichin
Funakoshi. Tony graded to 6th kyu in 1966 under Harada sensei.
Tony then went to Manchester University in 1967, where he was a
founder member of the University's Shotokan Karate Club, affiliated
to KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain), once again practicing mainstream
JKA Shotokan. Instructors included Andy Sherry and Bobby Poynton,
Keinosuke Enoeda and occasionally Hirokazu Kanazawa. He was captain
of the University Karate Club from 1968 to 1971 (he thinks!). He
graded to 1st Kyu under Keinosuke Enoeda 8th Dan, Chief Instructor
Tony then stopped training for a while following a series of injuries,
but eventually got back into it, as they say!
Tony then started the Manchester Civil Service Karate Club in 1977.
The club affiliated to SKI (GB) and SKIF, under Shiro Asano, 7th
Dan (Now 9th Dan) and kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa, 10th Dan. He graded
to Shodan under Asano sensei in 1979.
In 1981 Tony changed jobs and moved to Telford in Shropshire, where
he started a small club at Moreton Village Hall, near Newport, Shropshire.
Shotokan Karate has returned to Moreton with friends of his, Wayne
Butler and Ian Rogers, both now 3rd Dans (A.M.A.), running the club
About 1984, Tony started the Telford Civil Service Karate Club
based at the Racquet and Fitness Centre in Telford, along with his
friend Chris Rogers. In 1987 he was seconded by his then employer
(the Government) to join the Programming Research Group at Oxford
University Computing Lab. He was a member of Wolfson College, Oxford.
While in Oxford he trained with the Oxford University Karate Club,
in Karate-do Ryobu-kai. Tony was awarded his Master of Science degree from Oxford University, MSc (Oxon), on 26th November 1988.
While Tony was in Oxford, the Telford club had switched to Wado
Ryu, with his friend Chris Rogers running it under the guidance
Johnson, 4th Dan Wado. (Tony sends his thanks to Chris Rogers
2nd Dan, Frank
Johnson 4th Dan and Tatsuo Suzuki hanshi, 8th Dan for his Wado
Tony returned to Shropshire to take up post at Wolverhampton University
as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and now teaches Shotokan
Karate at Wrekin College, in Wellington, Telford Shropshire, setting
the club up in 1994. He graded to 2nd Dan in the UK and 3rd Dan
in Japan. He was graded directly by kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa . In
November 2000 Tony was graded to 4th Dan, again directly by kancho
Hirokazu Kanazawa , during his November 2000 visit to the UK.
At the 9th SKIF World Championships held in Japan at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (the 'Taikukan') in November 2006 Tony was graded to 5th Dan, again directly by Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan.
At the 2012 11th SKIF World Championships held at the Olympic Park in Sydney Australia, Tony achieved fourth place in the Vets 60+ kata, Bronze in the vets 60+ Kumite and Silver in the Vets team kata.
Following the International Grading Examination at the end of the World Championships Tony was promoted to 6th Dan by Kanazawa sensei 10th Dan
|6th Dan being awarded by Kancho Kanazawa
Tony was Appointed Director of SKIF Europe in 2012