My Story ( so far )

I started my Martial arts journey when I was 17yrs old with Aikido at the Farnborough sports Centre. i enjoyed it but wanted to kick and punch more so I started Karate with Sensei Bill Bishop of the ShoBuKan in 1988.
By 1992 I was training with Sensei Joe Coleman of the Scorpion School of Karate. I trained 3 times a week for 3 hours at a time.  I began teaching under Senseis watchful eye in 1993 and after nearly 5 very tough years graded to 1st Dan Black belt. Joe decided to retire shortly after so I ran the club with Sensei Andy Cartwright 2nd Dan for a few months but really missed the hard training I had been used to and decided to find another strong karate club. I had a real job finding one that pushed me as hard in terms of spirit as the Scorpion did but eventually came across Sensei Dan Tennant and the KyuHanShi Karate Club in the Old Dean, Camberley. The training and conditioning was incredibly hard and pushed us all to the maximum every lesson.. Unfortunately politics got in the way in the end and I moved on and found a style called Teatsu that blended Ju Jitsu with Karate and to help with the Ju Jitsu I began training with Sensei Paul Conolly of the Waregachi at the BuDoKan in Frimley. The Waregachi was even tougher than KyuHanShi and I suffered many injuries and lost lots of my teeth but in the process became very competent at JuJitsu. This was a handy skill to have as I was working as a doorman in various clubs and pubs in Camberley at the time. 
Unfortunately the injuries were stopping me doing my day job so after 2 years I had to quit the Waregachi. I joined the SKW with my daughter in 2002 and was asked to retake my Dan grade which I successfully did in the November of that same year. I opened a club in Bagshot under the SKW and took over a club in Bracknell as well which was where I met my wife Janet as she was running the club at the time. I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2008 and was getting fed up of not being able to teach karate the way I wanted to as I was part of an association so I left. I had  built up a very successful club and was devastated I had to leave it behind but it would have caused to much bad blood if I had continued to run it on my own. 
In December of 2009 I was talking on Facebook with an old school friend of mine, Debbie Smith who was training at a club in Blackwater with Sensei Ron Franklin who had taken over a club when the previous instructor left and was a bit out of his depth as he was a Shotokan Black Belt and didnt have a good knowledge of Wado Ryu.
She invited me over to have a chat and train. I started helping Ron teach the classes and after a few months took over the majority of the teaching. Ron became a very willing student of mine as did the other students. I had found a new home :)
I asked a good friend of mine Shihan Graham Chuck 7th Dan of the KenKyuKai if he would conduct our Dan gradings to which he agreed and he has come every May since to take a course and Dan grading for us.
After passing my 1st Dan in 1996 I decided it may be time to grade for my 2nd Dan as I had students who were catching me up. Infact Toby Evans who I started teaching when he was 12yrs old was the same grade as me and we ended up grading to 2nd Dan together. I graded to 3rd Dan in 2013 and am attempting my 4th Dan in May 2016.
The club has grown from one lesson a week 6 lessons a week . Friday is the only day off. And thats just the way I like it. 
I still have Cancer as its terminal but I reckon karate is helping me cope with it and the treatments I need to have. 
Karate has given me a strong positive attitude to life and a great physical condition.
Let me help you take the first step on this amazing journey
Sensei Ian Clarke 3rd Dan 

Shihan Graham Chuck and me in 2011 after my 2nd Dan grading