Last Thursday my wife Maureen had a lovely send off in Havant. She left our house in Widley and had a beautiful final drive through the Hampshire countryside.
On arrival I was absolutely stunned by the amount of people who turned up to share and support me and my family at this time. For that I will be eternally grateful to each and every one of you. Your kind words, hugs, kisses and thoughts truly did her memory honour and helped me when I needed it most.
The ceremony was a lovely way to celebrate her life. I have especially thank Dave Hazard & Frankie Hatton for their thoughts and words delivered brilliantly and thoughtfully. Full of the joy and laughter that was Maureen’s life as well as the tributes she deserved. I must also thank Big Johnny Elk (‘Elkie’) for his rendition of of “I’ll See You In My Dreams” a favourite song that Maureen and I enjoyed when we last saw Joe Brown in concert, it is a lasting memory sung by one of my oldest friends and a most talented man.
I hope I managed to speak to everyone that was there and followed up at the wake down the Broad Oak. It was a truly emotional day for us all and in honesty it still continues to be so but I am fine and well supported by my family.
Thank you, each and every one, you all made it a truly beautiful day for Maureen. She would be happy to have seen you all I know.
I am very sad to have to announce that Sensei’s wife Maureen passed away due to a long illness on the 24th July 2017.
Maureen Dewey (nee O’Donnell) (Mornie to her friends) was born on the 1st June 1947. She was the first of the Dewey family to don a ‘Gi’ and introduced Mick to karate in 1967, their life was to be dominated by it. Maureen was a regular at Portsmouth KC for many years. She taught the children’s class until she had children of her own and that meant a change of course for her ultimately. She often attended KUGB seminars at Crystal Palace with Mick when part of the KUGB; training with many of the world renowned Japanese Instructors from that era. She was from day one the organiser for the Shotokan of England Karate Union when it was formed in 1982. Once she stopped training herself she didn’t sit back, she was at every SEKU competition doing the registration and daily admin from paper clips to teas, sandwiches and running her own martial arts outlet Makoto. As the Administration Officer she had a hand in organising the competitions as well, checking all the entries and with that brain of hers knowing instantly if there was a problem with an entry. That means 46 years of the Portsmouth Open and 37 years of the SEKU Championships! She was the SEKU Licensing Officer to the end and could tell you to the day when your license expired and give you a reminder if you didn’t renew on time.
Privately she rarely spoke about her time in a gi. Those that trained with her say she was an excellent karateka and it was just timing that stopped her taking her Dan grade. In those days it happened on seminar at Crystal Palace after a course of several days, impossible for a mother of two. Her home and her hospitality was legend amongst us all
and some of the best karateka around have sat at her table to eat, drink and wake up with a hangover the next day. Many a SEKU squad had a party at her house before leaving for competitions and all speak fondly and highly of her and her eternal support for them. She was always available for anyone whether it was a shoulder for a problem, a question about SEKU/Karate or running the diary for Mick.
Her infectious laugh made everyone smile and her enthusiasm for life and its experiences saw her regularly travel abroad for pleasure to places like Vietnam, Hong Kong and China amongst many others.
The last few years Maureen had suffered ill health but rarely complained getting around as best she could. Her last public outing was at the SEKU championships in March as usual doing registrations.
The sun has been shining for a few days and we could tell in the Priory Sports Hall as a full compliment of attendee’s combined with the heat and a lack of ventilation made for sweaty people during the course yesterday (Sunday).
As usual Beryl was gate keeper ensuring licenses were up to date & stamped and she was busy. As were myself and Sensei Brian Smith, we were instructing. It was a pleasure seeing those that travelled wider than we did, Jason Hollister, Mike Grimwood and Ben from Saltash dojo. We also had from Salisbury pop along for the first time as Eden Burrell trains there she had extended an invite.
The bulk of the training once we’d gotten underway was centred around Kata Enpi. The ‘Flying Swallow’ is one of our oldest kata it’s previous name being Wanshu for those that really enjoy our history. For an even bigger cheer I’ll let you know it was first seen around 1683 in Okinawa it’s name was changed to Enpi by Funakoshi when he moved to the mainland in the 1920’s. Having run through the moves slowly building up to the full completion of the kata we then spent some time on application which all students like and have ideas about. For me it fosters more thought about your personal karate and helps with the line on the diploma that read’s “We expect more development…”
The final hour of training was undertaken by Brian Smith concentrating on Kihon Ippon and later Ju Ippon kumite. Plenty of sweating, flying bodies and punching to be had as you can see from the photo’s.
Finally the grading, was held and I’d like to congratulate James King from Bembridge dojo and Andy Skerry from Crofton dojo who both successfully completed their Shodan. Well done to them.
All done and dusted we left tired but I hope happy and I look forward to seeing you all on the next B&B course in October.
SEKU Club Instructors met at the Priory Community Sports Centre Sunday 11th June 2017. Theme for the class was Kihon Ippon Kumite and the first two sessions were dedicated to reiterating the format. Emphasis was placed on the importance of the ceremony at the start and finish of the exercise and the display of mutual respect between the two participants. Importance of technique, distancing, angles (Tai Sabaki) ceremony before and after the completion of Ippon Kumite.
The enthusiasm during training was apparent and there was a lot of time given over to discussion. The second part of the class was for the practise of Kata and it was Sensei Brian Smith who taught Kata Jitte.
Eden Burrell had applied to test for 4th Dan Grade and at regular periods during the class she was called upon to demonstrate the particular sequence we were practicing at the time. Thanks to Claire Lacey for partnering Eden for both Kihon-Ippon and Jiyu-Ippon Kumite and to Stacey Crowe for testing Eden with some hard fought Randori.
Eden’s grading examination was successful, it is well deserved and she should be proud of herself, she is always out there training whenever & wherever she can and supports all courses that she can get to. Her success was announced at the end of the class, there followed a long drawn out ovation from class members. Eden has also emerged as a fine International competition Referee Learning what she can from whoever she can. Eden is well respected by all SEKU members as well as all Karate circles.
See you if not at the Focus on Kata class on the 18th June then on the Black & Brown belt course 9th July or even the next Instructor class on the 10th September.
Congratulations to Eden Burrell for attaining her 4th dan well deserved and thank you for taking the class through it’s paces with Tekki Sandan.
Royal Navy Championships 2017 – HMS Temeraire, Portsmouth.
After the great weekend training course at the Bridport Leisure Centre we now have a few weeks rest before our next event. Having said that I had the pleasure of attending the Royal Navy Annual Martial Arts Championships Wednesday 24th May. My involvement and interest is that our own Squad Coach Steve Hollister is also the Coach to the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Karate Team, sadly due to a family commitment Steve was unable to be in attendance at this but I was able to report directly back to him as the day progressed. Unfortunately the day was marred and attendance depleted due to the Manchester bombing, the consequence being the deployment of the armed forces to the streets and major events throughout the country. There was also a lock-down at the bases and ships as the national security code was raised throughout the country and many Navy Martial Arts Practitioners were unable to be there.
Martial Arts involved in this annual event are Tae Kwondo, Kendo and Karate although as stated attendance was low from all disciplines. Fortunately for us SEKU Team member Steve ‘Gibbo’ Gibbons was able to be there and gave his usual top class performance winning both Individual Kata & Kumite events. Due the lack of competitors Tournament organiser Al Curtin, after discussion decided on a crossover event between Karate/Tae-Kwondo Steve Gibbons took this event too. (in fairness though the few TKD competitors were all low Grades and were very sporting to agree to a Dan grade entering their event)
We have two events coming up – SEKU Instructor Class Sunday 11th June & Focus on Kata Class the following weekend 18th June – both events will be held at Priory School, Fawcett Road, Southsea.
Training began 11.30am Saturday morning after checking in at the door the class began with basic combinations and continued for the next hour. For the second class Tekki-Sandan practised and was the chosen Kata for the weekend. A fairly advanced Kata which most senior members were familiar with although some junior members had not practised it before. For the last class of the day Sensei Steve Hollister put us through kumite drills, techniques and movement to help in the competition arena. As usual Steve delivered a very interesting and practical class.
The weather was kind to us and Saturday ended with a beach barbecue with copious amounts of food and drinks to be had, so much so that passers-by were invited to join in. Sensie Alan Lewis provided the entertainment with his famous harmonica playing, he was accompanied by Andy Skerry’s wife Jill who gave a fine performance on the spoons.
Sensie Brian Smith arrived for the second day and following a warm-up he conducted a session on basic punch oi-tsuki this gave class members something to think about. Tekki-Sandan was revisited with some practical applications and scenarios applied with a little fun included. The final class of the weekend was once more given over to Sensie Steve Hollister who covered a similar class to the previous day but this time using punch & kick bags to bring a little reality into practise.
It was a fine weekend that I hope everyone enjoyed. Trophy winners for best trainers on the course were for the juniors – David Boszir an 8 year old white belt from the Portsmouth Club who trained diligently throughout and for the adults – the inspirational Eden Burrell originally from Plymouth but now training at Salisbury KC. Congratulations also go to Crofton KC member Ian Linford who was successful in his grading examination and attained the rank of 2nd Dan. Thanks also to Eden for acting as course secretary in the absence of Hannah Hollister who was unable to commit this year.
A great weekend and I Look forward to seeing you all next year.
It’s here again the annual visit to beautiful Bridport for sun, sea and karate. Well I can guarantee sea and karate at least.
I know that there other courses on this weekend in the Portsmouth area which may or may not be easier to attend. But the Bridport course has not only become an annual event, to myself and Maureen it is about raising money because all proceeds go to Damon’s Health Angel Fund. The Dewey’s, all of us, are extremely grateful to everyone that comes and trains over the weekend giving of their time, effort in training and travel. We are also thankful for your donations and help not just this weekend but all those other times when people raise money for Damon.
Shotokan Karate Training Course supporting Damon’s fight with his MS
Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th May 2017
Bridport Leisure Centre, Brewery Fields, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5LN
Contact 07540706288 (m) 02392387605 (h)
Portsmouth FC ‘v’ Plymouth Argyle FC Friday 14th April – Good Friday at Fratton Park. It seemed a decent match to attend and luckily we would get the opportunity to do so. Andy Skerry who trains at both Portsmouth & Crofton Karate Clubs had, through his company ‘Air Link Compressed Air Systems’ booked a table in the Hospitality Suite at Fratton Park and had invited several SEKU members and friends along. We were due to meet at the Shepherds Crook public house adjacent to the football ground at 12 noon. We missed the meet due to heavy traffic and went directly to the ground. Where we were directed to our table by smartly dressed waitresses who looked after us throughout, we had a marvellous three course meal and copious amounts of beer and wine.
In addition to the corporate table, Andy’s company had sponsored todays Match Ball and just prior to kick – off, the whole group of us at the table were to go down to the pitch-side in order to present the ball and pose for photos with some of the players who also signed our match programmes. We were then escorted to our seats in the South Stand that commanded a fine view of the pitch.
Portsmouth ‘v’ Plymouth, for obvious reasons, is known as the ‘Dockyard Derby’ and both teams and sets of fans have always been great rivals (although nothing like the intensity of the feeling for each other between Pompey and Southampton my apologies to the ardent Pompey fan for mentioning that swear word) The Pompey fans are renown for being vivacious/raucous and the atmosphere was brilliant and noise level well up there. Both Pompey and Plymouth were in the top three and candidates for promotion and the game was hard fought and very competitive on the pitch with the Pompey fans winning the battle in the stands. In the event the game finished with an honourable draw with a goal each, the next game would see both teams promoted to the next level.
After the match we returned to our table in the ‘Partners Lounge’ and continued where we had left off, and enjoyed revisiting the various incidents that made the match a memorable one. The lounge closed and we left the football ground to relocate in the Shepherds Crook just outside the ground, Andy had kindly presented the replica match ball to me and it become my responsibility for the rest of the evening. As you can imagine the Shepherds Crook was rather noisy and a bit of a mess following a hard fought match with a reasonable result so we decided to move on. Paul Wilson Sensei to the Junior section of the Portsmouth Karate Club is also a cab driver/owner in Pompey so he had some ‘clout’ and a taxi was soon delivering us to the Jolly Taxpayer near to the abode of Stacey Crowe, also Instructor to the Portsmouth Club. This proved to be a good move as Stacey was feeling the effects of an exciting day (or was it overindulgence?) and had to go home early! The group then broke up with Paul and Rick moving on to The Pelham Arms. Me, Alan Lewis (Instructor to Crofton SKC) Malcolm Smith and Any Skerry travelling out of town to my local the George at the top of Portsdown Hill.
It was a good day (and long) and the entire party are grateful to Andy for giving us the opportunity to attend and he has intimated that he would like to repeat the exercise again next season – well I’m up for it.
This morning I returned to UK and Portsmouth after my week of hardship. I was so glad I brought extra clothes to keep me warm, leaving them all in my bag helped for weight training when lifting the bag. Anyway a big thanks to Gibshot for hosting me as always and congratulations to those that graded. You need more members though so get out there and look for them!
Apart from the 3 lessons and grading there was also time to do a little filming and Frankie Hatton put together a small video for Portsmouth Karate Club which hopefully you will have seen already on our Facebook page. Feel free to share it around the more that view it the more that will understand the legacy that comes from Portsmouth KC. Whether you are a SEKU member or not is you are in the South of England region the chances are your dojo has links going back to Portsmouth either through me or through your instructor who was probably training at Portsmouth some time or another. It is with some sense of pride I see Brian Smith who’s Lovedean dojo goes from strength the strength. Also Terry Oliver currently in Japan wearing the SEKU badge with pride and Alan Lewis at Crofton with his lively dojo and idea to launch the Focus on kata class, an idea other outfits decided to use, well Alan had it first.
Speaking of Crofton, another stalwart, training for over 40 years with Alan is Lawrence Davison 3rd dan. He has finally had enough of the french riviera that is the south coast and is heading for a life in Scotland. Lawrence seems an almost perpetual figure at SEKU always in the dojo and at the competitions, often one of the first to don his blazer and offer help in any form. I wish him well in his new home please remember me when you return delivering the whiskey Lawrence.
Happy Days and see you in the dojo Thursday at honbu.