martial arts, shotokan karate, self defence

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Tony Conroy - 8th Dan

I started Martial Arts training in September 1963 at the age of 14. My initial involvement was with Ju Jitsu and Aikido, both of which I studied at the Leicester Martial Arts Club which was based at the Secular Hall in Leicester. I was graded shodan in Ju Jitsu.

In 1965, I commenced Wado Ryu karate training, and a short time later started training in shotokan karate.

In 1967 I joined the KUGB and began training five times a week. This was an important formative period for me, and over the next few years I trained with Kanazawa Sensei, Enoeda Sensei, Tomita Sensei, and many more senior Japanese instructors, as well as my regular instructor Asano Sensei.

In 1973 I began teaching at the Leicester Martial Arts Club as chief instructor.

During 1974, I trained on various courses under Enoeda Sensei, which culminated in a one week course at Crystal Palace in September of that year when I was graded Shodan by Enoeda Sensei

I subsequently continued to train 5 times a week and teach four sessions a week at the Leicester Club. In 1977 I was graded Nidan by Enoeda Sensei, and in 1981, again graded  by Enoeda Sensei to Sandan at the Red Triangle Club, in Liverpool. Throughout this period I still trained with Enoeda Sensei and other senior Japanese instructors.

The 1980ís were a very satisfying period for me as an instructor. I trained students who eventually were selected for the British team squad, and instructed the 1981 National KUGB ladies team kata champions. The Leicester Martial Arts Club (now the Central Leicester Karate Club) has won many trophies under my instruction, and had an excellent record at many competitions, for both Kata and kumite.

During this period I also was actively involved in both judging and refereeing (1983-85) for the KUGB, and other Karate organisations. In 1986 I was graded Yondan by Rick Jackson Sensei, and during 1991 was graded 5th dan.

In 1992 I visited Japan and trained at several clubs in the Kobe area. My instructors there were Sakai Sensei, Fujita Sensei and Tsura Sensei. This was an excellent and exciting experience and led to my beginning to study the Japanese language as a cultural complement to my Martial Arts training

My commitment to Martial Arts has had a direct impact on my students. many of whom have subsequently gone on to open clubs I believe it is this sharing and widening of the understanding of Martial Arts which is so important to the healthy development and growth of clubs in this country

I still train five times a week and teach 5 sessions a week as chief instructor of the Centre Karate Club. I also continue to train in and teach Ju- Jitsu to complement my Karate.