My teaching draws together personal and professional experience of aggressive and violent situations alongside concepts drawn from the written works of some of the other leading authorities in the field, insights from law enforcement and close protection, as well as research of the regular reports produced by agencies such as the UK Home Office, Cardiff University’s Violence in Society Research Group, and the FBI. With nearly twenty five years of experience of teaching in the field of martial arts and self protection I’ve had the privilege of teaching seminars in the UK, the USA, Canada and Europe.
Starting from a Shotokan base, early cross-training in Steelwire Mantis and years of Aikido training whet my appetite for exploring self-protection, karate and kata bunkai in greater depth. I was awarded my first black belt in Shotokan Karate in 1995 by the late Shihan Roger Hall. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to cross-train and be influenced by a wide range of great martial artists and subject matter specialists in diverse fields in different countries.
I have been humbled by the popularity of my books across North and South America, the UK, Europe, India and Japan. In the past I shared my ideas as a regular columnist for Traditional Karate Magazine (2005-8) and the ezine Jissen, and in interviews with Combat Magazine (2005) and Martial Arts Planet.
Written in 2004, I published my first book Heian Flow System: effective karate kata bunkai in 2007. In 2014 and 2015 I published my best-selling four-book series Pinan Flow System: karate kata application for beginner to black belt. In 2016 I published Karate and Self Defence – Selected Articles which contains a mix of my earlier and current work. In 2018 I featured as one of the guest writers in The Problem of Practical Karate. In 2020 I published Karate Beyond Kata – melting ice into water. I currently have further books under development.
In my regular classes in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, I teach two different training approaches: Kyohan Shotokan and my own Self Protection System which I have taught under the acronym DART (Defence Attack and Resolution Tactics) since 2006. DART is the continuously developing result of applying research into violent crime, psychology, the law, and sports science to pressure tested karate.
My Shotokan is a hybrid of Japanese karate, my interpretations of the books of founder Gichin Funakoshi, and the perspectives I have gained in my own training. In my Kyohan Shotokan Karate curriculum I mainly focus on teaching my Pinan Flow System alongside approaches to Tekki. I see my approaches to Shotokan and DART as different criss-crossing routes up the same mountain. I’m a strong believer in developing people through alive training and I teach seminars beyond styles to anyone looking to improve.
With a background as a co-curricular education specialist, in the past I focused on using my experience and over two decades of research on personal safety to deliver self defence courses for older teenagers – one of the most affected groups in society. In 2008 I decided to begin running my own Self Defence Scenario Simulation Training for martial artists, medical professionals, security industry professionals, law enforcement and military personnel. I continue to deliver seminars on personal safety and practical karate for self defence both in the UK and abroad.
My emphasis is on providing safe effective training that enables people to avoid, deter, negate and escape aggressive and violent situations. In addition to practical experience I hold a broad range of professional qualifications which underpin my approach to teaching.
Discover your limits. Then change them.