London (England) judo class run by the local Education Authority,
he soon moved on to Kenshiro Abbe's famous
Abbe School of Budo ("The Hut") near Heathrow Airport. For
the next two years James practiced Karate
twice a week and Judo regularly four
times a week, at the Abbe School and also at Roundwood
trained in Jujitsu in Japan(and still taught some Jujitsu
techniques), despite his small stature
(somewhere around five feet) had made a living during his
early years in Britain as a fairground "Japanese wrestler",
taking on all comers .
In 1964 the judo section left
the Abbe School, Kenshiro Abbe having returned to
Japan . James decided
to concentrate his martial arts studies on karate. About
that time Mitsusuke Harada, the first resident
karate teacher in Britain who had arrived only the
year before, started teaching at the school once a
Harada had trained personally with Gichin Funakoshi at the
Shotokan then at Funakoshi's home when the Shotokan
was fire bombed during the second world war, Harada
also practiced at Waseda University in Tokyo.
James continued to practice with Harada for the next
fourteen years, up to five times a week. Becoming the national
General Secretary to the Karate-Do Shotokai for thirteen years
traveling with Harada and often assisting on the many
seminars he conducted throughout Britain, and in
James has conducted many seminars in various parts of
Britain and in France. James practiced Zen (which he still does)
direction of the late Taizen Deshimaru in both London
and Paris which continues to have a great influence on his
and teaching. James has also practised Aikido and Kendo.
James has trained as a mediator to resolve supposedly
irreconcilable differences between people as an alternative to
Mediation is quite different from arbitration where both sides
agree before hand to abide by the decision of the arbitrator.
In this mediation no one was allowed a lawer and iether side
or the mediator could decide to end the procedings if they
thought that the mediation was not going well and could kick the
whole thing back to court. The mediators job was to get an
agreement between the parties that could then be turned a
binding document. Harder sometimes than others. It is the training
that struck James. It took place in a room set up like the
mediation room, but instead of regular people there were
experienced mediators playing the part of of the mediatees. They
played thier parts so well and with such reallity that James was
totally battle hardened before the first ever reall mediation. It
is this experience in how the thorough practice of reality
prepared him for the real world that James brings to his teaching.
James first came to Nova Scotia in 1976
when invited to conduct a seminar at the YMCA in Halifax.
James avoids titles such as sensei, and prefers to be called by
his regular name.
"I am very much aware that as a human
being, how I am addressed can not do other than affect my
psyche and my own view of myself,
If called by a special title and
treated with special reverence it is indeed a very special
person who can avoid thinking
of him/herself over the years as
somehow better or smarter than others. During the
fifty four years I have been involved with the martial arts I
have seen emormous hubris and hyprocracy. It is for this reason
I dislike to be addressed by any special title"
Introducing Zen Shoto Karate
Training for Life
Rules for Members
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