Sensei Mike GormanBorn 22nd July 1934, I spent my early years as a local Businessman promoting my two garages. I was a successful driver on the motor racing circuits of Britain retiring in 1974 and needing to fill the void; I came to Shotokan Karate International just after my 40th birthday. Within four years I had graded to Shodan. Already being Secretary for the Club, I also took on the roll of Administrator promoting and travelling many miles with Head Instructor Sensei Paul Perry and continuing in this roll at the foundation of JSK. I am no longer Administrator but continue as General Secretary.
Sensei Michelle PerryMichelle's Karate career began in 1988 and she took Shodan (1st Dan) in 1992. In 1995 she graded Nidan (2nd Dan), in 2000 Sandan (3rd Dan) and five years later Yondan (4th Dan). Michelle is a member of Jin Sei Kai's executive committee and Secretary to the Association. "The majority of my classes are aimed at children or adult females, including those who have special needs", says Michelle. "Karate, taught correctly, is great for improving dexterity and overall co-ordination, and for encouraging teamwork and self-discipline. But, perhaps the best thing about Karate is that there is always something to improve upon or learn and for me, as a teacher, to pass on" to my students.
Sensei Stuart VousdenStuart came to Karate in 1969 as a student of John Van Weenen. He took Shodan (1st Dan) black belt in 1974 and Nidan (2nd Dan) in 1977, by which time he was a student of Hirokazu Kanazawa. Stuart graded Sandan (3rd Dan) in 1983, having joined Jin Sei Kai in its early days, Yondan (4th Dan) in 2004, And Godan (5th Dan) Nov 2009. Stuart observes "Karate is about unleashing and celebrating each individual's talents. It's also about mutual respect and building people's self-confidence. I believe everyone should be taught on an equal footing, regardless of age and ability - and that the wisest teacher is the one who recognises that he or she has much to learn from others
Sensei Andy LewryBorn in 1963, I joined the Amersham Club of the Katsu Academy of Shotokan Karate, in October 1992, training under Ashley Croft and P.McCauliffe. My first grading (10th Kyu) was taken in December 1992 and examined by Sensei Robin Reid in Peterborough.A year later politics interfered and the Chiltern Karate Association was formed - I did my last grading here, under Sensei Croft, in December 1993 reaching 6th Kyu.
Why did I start? – Even then sport had taken a toll on my body and I needed to learn to stretch properly. Also, my job is desk based – I am a scientist and engineer – so the need to “switch off” is also paramount to my wellbeing and state of mind.
In January 1994, I enrolled with Jin Sei Kai (JSK) in Watford under the guidance of Mick Gorman. I was then and was impressed at the level of ability, knowledge and competence of all the JSK instructors – that includes those who have now left like Sensei Shearer who always had time to help me and still does when I trained with Paul Shephard’s Enfield Karate Club. After hard training with Sensei’s Gorman and Martin I improved and would like to thank them for their patience, especially with Mick in the build-up to my Sandan and Yondan grading’s. Also sadness because my Yondan was Sensei Perry’s last grading.
My attitude to training is that it should be hard but not mindless – hence my love of investigating what is behind the movement and training with instructors like Patrick McCarthy, Ricky Clark and Iain Abernethy has been illuminating. However, like any discipline the foundations are most important so basics, basics and more basics. You achieve nothing without hard work but that has to be effective and in order to achieve that I believe you have to understand the purpose of the movement. Visualisation is a powerful tool but you have to have the knowledge to underpin it, so you should keep striving to learn more.
Married with two children and two grandsons my other interests include cricket, rugby, football, tennis and table tennis (watching only now).