- Instructor: Andrew Newman
- Club: Andrew Newman's Club
- Area: South England
I started Wado karate in 1985 under Sensei Jon Wicks of the WIKF (formally UKKW), and in 1991 went to Japan with the Federation touring and training, including an exhibition tournament at Nihon University. I achieved Shodan in 1992 graded by Professor Tatsuo Suzuki. I have also trained with various other Japanese sensei during my time with the WIKF.
In 2003, I felt something was missing and decided to find another way. I started training with a friend, Sensei Tony Chapman. Tony was not affiliated to any particular style and did not have a formal syllabus, but we spent a lot of time practicing freestyle techniques and also doing a lot of free fighting against a whole range of different styles and martial artists. I learnt a lot about fighting during that time and believe that this has helped me with all my karate ever since.
It was whilst training with Tony one day in 2008 that we found our hall at Churches School unavailable. It just happened that another karate class was using a different hall and we were invited in to join training. This was how I met Sensei Chris Thompson, and at that point I realised I was ready to follow a more traditional route once again. I have enjoyed training with Sensei Thompson ever since and train weekly under him, achieving Godan in 2016.
In addition to my karate training, I am Nidan in traditional Japanese jujitsu and Shodan in Kendo, both of which I also train and teach on a weekly basis.