martial arts, shotokan karate, self defence
David Gask - 4th Dan
one, 26th July 1976, saw my introduction to Shotokan
Karate, joining the ranks of ‘the Juniors’ under the direction of
Sensei Ted Simpson (1st Dan).
As a somewhat ‘shorter-than-average’ thirteen-year old, my
motivation stemmed from a desire to gain the ‘psychological’
high-ground and to build self-confidence, not to mention developing a
new skill and physical strength. Ted provided great inspiration. His teaching, guidance,
enthusiasm and attention to detail afforded an ideal platform from
which to develop the basics quickly with ‘double grades’ achieved
under Sensei Enoeda, from beginner to 8th Kyu, and from 7th
Kyu to 5th Kyu. An
early introduction to ‘the Seniors’ then followed, with classes
under the direction of Sensei Tony Conroy (2nd Dan).
progressed over the next three years, with many notable ‘guest’
Senseis along the way (including K. Enoeda, M.Kawasoe, H.Tomita,
A.Sherry, S.Cattle, T.O’Neil, R.Poynton) culminating in achieving
Shodan (1st Dan) under the late Sensei Enoeda in September
however, the greatest influence over the years has been my mentor,
Sensei Tony Conroy (7th Dan), who continues to inspire,
motivate, and demand ever-higher levels of personal achievement.
Through Tony’s constant ‘eye-for-detail’, rigorous training
methods, and incomparable skill & aptitude - along with his
willingness to share ‘knowledge without reservation’ – this has
provided an underlying strength to me, and to the Club, wherever his
Dojo may be situated…
returned to my training after a break of many years (through business
commitments) I can now vouch for this “continuity of excellence”.
It has made lighter work of ‘picking-up’ from where I had
left off. And, with the
attainment of Nidan (2nd Dan) in September 2002, some 22
years since my last grading, achieving a grade surpassing my former
ability is testament to his unwavering encouragement and support.
now remain focused, and with the attainment of Sandan (3rd
Dan) in September 2005, it bears this out.
More importantly, I continue to share a passion with