- Instructor: Dave Martin
- Club: Irvinestown Karate Club
- Address: Bawnacre Leisure Centre
- Town: Irvinestown
- County: Co. Fermanagh
- Postcode: BT94 1EE
- Training Days: Tuesday
- Area: Ireland
I was born and grew up in the urban jungle of south-east London. I first became interested in the culture of the far east during the hippie days of the 1960s. This became an interest in the martial arts after I worked with a Chinese man and met some of his friends in Hammersmith. It was not until 1976 that I started formal instruction in Wadoryu karate with Tatsuo Suzukis UKKW association.
In 1978 I moved to Holland for 4 years and trained with a variety of martial arts groups. When I returned to the UK, the karate scene had completely changed with many new groups springing out from the old associations. I ended up joining a sport karate group and competed with some success in the midlands semi-contact karate scene.
I became dissatisfied with the lack of real karate and the fact that the driving force always seemed to be money. So I left.
The group I had belonged to immediately sued me for lost earnings - proving my point !!!
They did not win the court case (I always stand up to bullies!) and I joined a traditional wado karate group. I ran clubs for several years in the midlands and was generally left to my own devices.
The head of the group moved to the USA and I joined another wado group until I and my family decided to move to Ireland. Together with my wife Michele, we established a group practising traditional wado karate. For a long time I resisted joining any other group but we did get support from Andy Genery(BWKU) and Chris Thompson(BTKA).
I had one of those moments in destiny when a chance meeting with Chris Thompson happened at a kata course given by Shingo Ohgami. Now about ten years later we are firmly a part of the BTKA and our horizons have been broadened yet again.
There have been many high points and a few low points in my karate career, but as Frank Sinatra almost said, too few to mention and more importantly I did it my way.