Stephen Marriott 4th Dan (SKIF)
2x SKKIF Team Member
(2006 & 2009 World Championships)
In 1985, aged 11yrs, I joined the Traditional Association of Shotokan Karate (TASK) in Flitwick, Befordshire. This was a newly opened Dojo at the brand new Sports Centre in Flitwick. The association was headed by John van Weenen, who taught regularly at the Dojo. Other regular instructors were his wife Jane van Weenen and Derek Barnett. Guest instructors at TASK included: Bob Poyton, Mick Randall, Mick Nursey, Ticky Donovan and Sean Roberts.
In 1993, after 7yrs of hard training, I took my Shodan (black belt) grading at the Hombu in Beford and passed on my first attempt. 2yrs later I was awarded 2nd Dan and 3rd Dan in 1999. During this time I was competing and training regularly with the EKGB squad on their open sessions. I achieved good results in both Kumite and Kata competitions, including wining the TASK mens Black Belt Kumite and Kata 4yrs in a row.
Towards the end of 2004, after being a member of TASK for 19 years, I decided to leave TASK and join Kanazawa Sensei’s SKIF. This allowed me to have greater access to the senior Japanese instructors and to expand his Karate by practising other styles including : Shindo-Jinen Ryu (Ryobu Kai) with Yamazaki Sensei and Sensei Simon Oliver; Shito-Ryu (MKD) with Shihan Minakami; Yamani-Ryu Bo-Jutsu; Nunchaku.
As per the SKKIF constitution I was required to re-take his last grading and register his grade with SKIF HQ Japan. Stephen re-took his 3rd Dan grading in 2006, the examiner was Kancho Kanazawa (10th Dan). During 2006 I was selected to compete in the SKIF World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. During my visit to Japan I also trained at Konishi Sensei’s Ryobukan Dojo.
2008 saw my second visit to Japan. This time I went with Sensei Simon Oliver and a group of friends. The trip included training at Konishi Sensei’s Ryobukan Dojo and several visits to the SKIF Hombu in Tokyo.
In 2009 I graded to 4th Dan again with Kancho Kanazawa as the examiner. Also in 2009 I was once again selected to compete for the UK Team in the 10th SKIF World Championships, Athens.
During 35yrs+ of training I have trained all over the World including Club-la-Santa (Teneriffe), Denver (Colorado), Washington (DC), Sydney (Australia), Brno (Czech Republic), Dubai (UAE), Tokyo (Japan) and Okinawa (Japan).
I have also been a guest instructor at many other Dojo including: Kodokai (Watford), SKKIF Courses, Gasshuku (2006-2014), Terry Wittkopp’s TSKR, Mark Kupsz’s BSKC, Iain Tyrie’s Shintai, CFTS plus self defence courses for local organisations.
I am currently based in the Middle East and have been since 2015. The Yamakai dojo was left in the capable hands of its members and Oliver Sensei teaches there every Monday evening.
There was no JKR dojo here so for four years I trained with the local IOGKF Goju-Ryu dojo. I was invited to be the head Karate Instructor for Emirates Airline staff for 2 years. I am looking forward to affiliating my next dojo to the JKR.