Graded Godan (5th dan) under Sensei Vebo 2019
Norman started training in Shotokan Karate in Bradford, West Yorkshire, 1970, under the guidance of Sensei Walter Legg (deceased). Training at St. Margaret’s hall on Tuesday & Thursday night 7pm till 10pm and on Saturday 2pm till 5pm in the good old days when training fees were 10pence per session! At the time of joining the club in Bradford, Sensei Legg was a brown belt, there were no black belt around apart from Sensei Asano (well nobody knew of any) who would turn up once per year and grade us!
After a number of years (1973) of going up and down the dojo doing basics Norman heard of a dojo in Leeds run by Sensei Bob Rhodes, on joining the Leeds Shotokan club Norman, found out (the hard way) about sports karate, to which, he says ‘was great fun‘. “If anybody takes up Karate, competition is a fun and (sometimes) safe way of ‘testing’ your techniques legally!”
1984. Norman moved from Bradford to Oxford for work and after looking around and taking on a few jobs he started his own window cleaning company. This move gave him time to concentrate more on his thirst for knowledge of karate.
1985. The Oxford Shotokan Karate Club was born in Long Hanborough. After a few years the club moved to Witney Leisure Centre, later moving to Woodgreen School, then on to Abingdon. At the opening of the Abingdon Tennis and Leisure Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon in 2002, the Oxford Shotokan Karate Club took up residence.
1987. At the end of a very enjoyable sports initiation journey, Norman joined the Ryushinkan dojo, in Oxford (Aikido) under the watchful eye of Sensei Minoru Kanetsuka. Norman would train with Sensei Kanetsuka on a weekly basis for five years and sometimes on his weekend courses. When training on a Wednesday morning there were only a very few Aikido-ka turn up for practice, this was the start of REAL understanding of Martial arts and he cannot thank sensei enough for his guidance and true friendship in helping him develop his martial arts (Karate as well as Aikido)
1990. On many occasions at Sensei Enoeda’s course at Crystal Palace Norman would train under Sensei Kase, the Karate sensei was teaching was so advanced it went right over Norman’s head! All he wanted to do was fight! Until one day Steve Cattle invited Norman to train on an advance course in Alicante, Spain with Sensei Kase,
Norman says about the course, “I can tell you this much, I have never been so lost when on the dojo floor, the karate Sensei Kase was teaching was absolutely fantastic”. From that day onwards he has left competition far behind and started to open a new future on his Shotokan Karate (Kase-Ha System).
It was also this year that Norman left the KUGB after twenty years training and joined the English Shotokan Academy and followed the system of Sensei Kase.
2016. At a training course and meeting in Finland, Norman announced that he would leave the ESA and start his own Organisation in England following Sensei Vebo and his Kase-Ha system.
Norman has trained / followed the teachings of the following Sensei Mr. Walter Legg (Deceased), Sensei Asano, Mr. Bob Rhodes, Mr. Steve Cattle (1947-1995-Deceased) Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda (Deceased), Mr. Paul Coleman (Goju Ryu) Sensei Minoru Kanetsuka (Aikido) Deceased), Sensei Taiji Kase (1929-2004-Deceased) Sensei Dirk Heene and now follows Sensei Velibor Vebo Dimtrijevic.
2019. After 21 years of training since his last grading with Sensei Kase in the Kase-Ha System Norman was promoted in November to 5th Dan in Oxford on a Kase-Ha course by Sensei Vebo.
Norman and Son (Joe) paying respect to Sensei Funakoshi’s memorial, Kanakura, Japan
To be continued…