David Wilson - Chief Instructor
When did you start your Karate training?
I started Karate training in 1984.
Why did you start Karate?
I needed something to take the place of football that I played to a good standard and missed takng part in a competitive sport.
Who was your first Instructor?
Master Loke was my first instructor in Tang Soo Do.
What is your occupation?
I was formally company secretary, HR Director and Legal Counsel of Konica Business Machines (UK) Ltd, and thereafter Company Secretary of Woodland International, then a Director of a property company, and part time business consultant.
What else do you do?
I commenced my own Karate and kickboxing schools in October 2006. Whilst I occasionally give some advice to companies I am to all intents and purposes now a full time Martial Arts Instructor.
When did you start teaching?
I taught Tang Soo Do classes for several years commencing in 1989 and then assisted by Karate Instructor with teaching at the Chelmsford class.
What are the ages of the students you teach?
I teach from age 4 years and upwards, we separate the classes into children only and, adult classes. As part of the Government P.E. Curriculum initiative, I was invited to teach pupils in various schools in Essex which proved successful and we continue to do so.
Have you had much success in competition?
I was fortunate to become English and British Tang Soo Do Champion including a Silver Medal (Second Place) in the Tang Soo Do World Championships in 1991. I also medalled in the English and British Championships in Kata. By the time I joined the Brentwood Karate Dojo in 1998 by competitions days were really behind me however, I then entered Masters events and have won Silver and Bronze Medals in the European Masters, Bronze Medal in the World Masters and became Italian Kumite (fighting) Champion.
What is your favourite Kata?
My favourite Kata is Kanku-Sho.
What is your favourite technique?
My favourite technique would be Ushiro-Mawashi-Geri.
Do you feel Martial Arts has influenced your personal life in any way?
I believe that the effect Martial Arts has had is to apply a logical approach to decision making in business and also to treat individuals of differing abilities in different ways. The way I was taught is not the way I teach. Looking back that (the old way) was the wrong way to teach Martial Arts but we all have to change with the times.
Do you have any views on how Martial Arts is perceived?
I do not believe there is a “bad” Martial Art, but we are all tainted by “bad” martial artists who believe they can start up schools and make some quick money without putting too much effort into it.
I feel that Karate can be better managed from a National point of view by a governing body that consists of a properly run board drawing from various factions of business, sport, etc. so that we have a fully accountable (to Sport England) body that is run on a Professional basis *
I was an inaugural director of the English Karate Federation and after helping set up that body I took a step back. I then returned in 2016 to assist in some issues that they were having trying to convene an Annual General Meeting. I resigned shortly afterwards having completed the AGM as I believe that we need to have the overall governing body in place looking after all (if not most) of Karateka at all levels in England.
*as at July 2017 this looks to have become a reality
Do you have any other interests?
My other interests are keeping fit generally, reading and cinema. I am also the Vice Chairman of the Southern Area Council of the British Boxing Board of Control (the governing body for Professional Boxing in Great Britain).
What are your current goals?
To continue to grow our membership. At the moment (July 2017) we have our full time centre and 3 satellite clubs. I hope to grow this to at least 2 more over the next 12 months. I was also fortunate enough to meet up with an old training colleague, Jon Hegan, who is the Chief Instructor of KMFN and he is probably the foremost Krav Maga in Britain and most certainly the foremost Royce Grace Jiu Jitsu Instructor. I used to train with Jon back in the late 90s in Krav Maga and rekindled this training qualifying as an Instructor in 2016. I now teach Krav Maga as part of the timetable at The Martial Arts Centre.
You have adopted a local not global attitude. Could you expand on this?
We are looking to place orders of anything that we need with local companies where ever possible. It is my view, especially in difficult times, to support local business wherever possible. We use as many local providers as possible. It would be hypocritical of us to do otherwise when I am asking local persons and companies to come and train with us yet not use them. I know other local companies would be doing this and if we continue along this path then the local area will benefit.
Going forward we are now established in the area but we are also known nationally (and also are recognised when we travel abroad) and I am grateful to say we also have now gained large experience in helping those less fortunate than others and work with special schools to bring Martial Arts in the schools. This gives us as much satisfaction as having people medal in National Championships.
I am very lucky to be able to do what I am doing.