Next year marks 15 years of Bushinkai, 20 years I have been formally studying “Shoto” Karate, 25 years since I joined my first club and around 30 years since I started learning informally (I’ll also be 35 years of age for another round number). I was recently asked to provide a detailed timeline of instruction, who I trained with and how long for, so hopefully this will suffice. I have also included pictures that may be of interest. I do not have many pictures from the early days simply because before the advent of digital cameras and smart phones pics were not taken as often.
I consider my main instructors over the years to have been my dad David Keegan (in life and in Dojo), my first Karate instructor Steve Bullough, My Shotokan teacher Bob Carruthers and now his teacher Phil Handyside, and also Reiner Parsons in Goju Ryu. For the purposes of clarity, since I have also been influenced by instructors I have trained with only on seminars, here is a breakdown of my training history. I have left everybody’s grades and titles off for brevity and because these can be found elsewhere on this site. The most recent grading I received wa 5th Dan under Mr Handyside, I graded on the mat for this in 2012, doing all kata from white belt to 5th Dan and fighting Kumite.
My training timeline is essentially this:
1985-1995: Informal training in basic Jujutsu, Karate and weapons with relatives
1995-2006: Training in Japanese martial arts (1995-2002) with the Bushido Academy (grading 1st Dan) and (1998-2006) Chinese martial arts with Beijing Lian Jie.
2001-2007: Training in traditional Karate, Kobudo and Japanese Jujutsu with KYR (grading 2nd Dan) and then IMAF (grading 3rd Dan)
2007-2012: As head of UKBF/Temaa, becoming founder member of EKF, attending seminars with IJJF and Dai Nippon and studying various martial arts (and grading 4th Dan)
2012-present: Grading 5th Dan under Shihan Handyside (Shobukan Karate) and joining Steve Rowe’s (Yang style Tai Chi master) Shikon
1985-1995 (Jujutsu, boxing)
Informal training with relatives including dad in basic Karate, Jujutsu, boxing and weapons (mostly swords). Boxing training at a gym in Wigan (possibly St Cuthberts) with tips from local boxer Lee Blundell. No grades taken. Other martial arts informally studied, fencing, archery, a litte Goju Ryu Karate. Relatives who studied martial or military combat include:
- David Keegan (father) first studied Jujutsu in 1959, later Karate, Kobudo, Iaido, Tai Chi, Hsing-I
- Paul Keegan (uncle) first studied Jujutsu in 1959, later Goju Ryu, member of To-Ken society
- John Barrie (uncle) black belt in Shotokan early 1970s under Keinosuke Enoeda
- Mei Kwan (aunt – ai yee) Yang style Taiji Quan, Hong Kong
- Jim Nelson (grandfather). Taught boxing by his father and grandfather in 1930s, army in WWII
- Bill Nelson (great uncle). Taught boxing by his father in 1930s, navy in WWII. Blackbelt in Kawaishi Ryu Jujutsu
- Ted Molloy (great uncle). Master at arms, fought in Japan and China
- Jimmy and Tommy Molloy (second cousins) British boxing champions
- William Henry Nelson (great grandad). Taught boxing by his father August Nilsson in early 1900s, served in army in WWI
- August Nilsson (great great grandad). Great grandson of Nils who went to Okinawa in 1780s, served with Swedish Navy
- James Lawless (great grandad), served with army in WWI, streetfighter
- Herve Briant great great great grandad, served in French Navy when Napolean III sent ships to Japan and China – Savatte the result
Training in the Bushido Academy with Steve Bullough studying Bushido (Karate, Aikido, Judo, Kobudo), competed in WKA, EMA, FSK. Trained mostly Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and at teacher’s house at weekends. won three golds, four silver and three bronze in competition (Karate, kickboxing and kata). Kata learned Heian 1-5, Tekki 1-3, Bassai Dai, Kushanku, Empi. Took every grading from 9th Kyu to 1st Dan. Left shortly before 2nd Dan.
1998-2006 (Taiji Quan)
Training in Beijing Lian Jie mostly studying Yang style Tai Chi on a Tuesday night With Sifu Alan McDonnell, and sometimes Thursday nights with Eluned Sanderson, often one Sunday a month in Sun style and Chinese sword, taught some of the Hsing-I fists. Forms practiced included Yang long form (88), Yang short form (24), Sun style (97), Sword (32) and some others. Annual seminars with Li De Yin, one seminar with Zhang Xiu Mu and a few Euro competitions organised by Kam Lau.
2001-2003 (Jujutsu, Karate)
Opened the Bushinkai Academy and joined the Kiai Yamabushi Ryu Bugei Remnei training with the chief instructors of the Ryu in classes, seminars, gradings and instructor training in Wigan, London and Ireland. I graded 2nd Dan Jujutsu in London (seven hour grading) and 2nd Dan Shotokan in Wigan (three hour grading). Kata learned from Bob: Wankan, Nijushiho, Meikyo, Jutte
- Bob Carruthers (Shotokan Karate) -Trained with Bob mostly from 2001-2012 (from 1st Dan to 4th Dan)
- Jaimie Lee-Barron (Jujutsu, Iaido, Jodo) – Graded 2nd Dan under Jaimie and took coaching training. Lots of weapons including Katana, Jo, Bo, Nunchaku
- George Scarrott (Aikijujutsu) – Seminars
- Joe Carslake (Jujutsu) – seminars
- Andy Wilshaw (Jujutsu, Kenjutsu) – seminars
- Steve Brennan (Koryu Uchinadi) – several classes, a good friend
Other seminars/odd classes attended in early 2000s:
- Li De Yin (Tai Chi) – 3 or 4 seminars
- Zhang Xiu Mu (Tai Chi) – 1 seminar
- Fred Harrison (Karate) – 1 seminar (learnt Unsu, Bassai Sho, Kanku Sho)
- Nejc Sever (Karate) – 1 seminar
- Mike Newton (Karate) – 4 lessons
I also attended my first seminar with Shihan Phil Handyside (Karate) at this time who later graded me 5th Dan.
2003-2007 Kokusai Budoin IMAF
My main teacher from the IMAF days is Reiner Parsons who I have trained with a few times a year for over 10 years, as well as his sons.
Instructors I took instruction from in IMAF:
- Reiner Parsons – Training and grading (3rd Dan) and later awarded Renshi after 4th Dan
- Shizuya Sato (Seminar, book and syllabus as he was chief director and endorsed my 2nd Dan Jujutsu/Tanjo Jutsu which I had to adapt to his curriculum)
- Mitsuhiro Kondo (Seminar and syllabus since he was our senior master in Europe and I had planned to take my 3rd Dan with him)
- Tadanori Nobetsu (One seminar in person, his teachings transmitted via Reiner Parsons)
- Jack Hearn (Jujutsu, Judo – several seminars)
- Ray Walker (Judo – Private one to one tuition in Judo while at events)
- Dave Wareing, Ric Benton, Colin Hutchinson (Judo – several seminars)
- Various Iaido instructors including Steve Chriscole (we trained informally as I was his Karate/jujutsu instructor)
2006-2012 Karate Jutsu International, International Jujitsu Federation, Dai Nippon Butokukai, UKBF
Instructors studied with on seminars:
- Terry Wingrove – Yawara and Karate Jutsu: Took me to Poland for two days, also trained with him in Birmingham, Wigan and Manchester and he invited me to the founding of the English Karate Federation.
- Alan Ruddock – Aikido
- Tony Christian – Karate
- Allan Tattersall – Iaido and Jujutsu
- Patrick McCarthy – Koryu Uchinadi
Also at this time became founder member of English Karate Federation, head of United Kingdom Budo Federation, awarded 4th dan by WKA and recognised by WKF.
I focussed my attentions mostly on honing my system of Karate/Jujutsu but still kept learning. Some of the teachers who have influenced me in the last four years include:
- Bob (this time a different art), Angelo and Rene Tongson – introduced me to Abaniko Tres Puntas
- Dave (the old man is still teaching me Tai chi)
- Phil Handyside – always a friend and mentor
- John Dang – “my Kung Fu brother”
- Steve Rowe – We have attended three of his seminars so far and can’t wait to go on more
I still keep up my studies of the Beijing Yang style forms, here I am doing the 24 Form:
Here I am with two of my students Sam and Claus doing a Karate demo for Alfie Lewis, we didn’t have chance to rehearse so all the techniques were off the cuff. Terry O’Neill complimented me on the grappling techniques – a proud moment!
Here I’m performing Kanku Dai (Kushanku) one of the most important Kata in our school:
Pictured in 2014: Going back to my kickboxing roots with Muay Thai sparring:
5th Dan Shobukan Karate (Graded on the mat by headteacher PAJ Handyside 8th Dan) WUKF
4th Dan Renshi Shoto Ryu Karate/Jujutsu (Title authorised by Dai Nippon Butokukai national head Hanshi Allan Tattersall 9th Dan DNBK)
3rd Dan Nisseikai Karate – Graded on the mat with Kyoshi Reiner Parsons 7th Dan (who was graded by Tadanori Nobetsu and Ikuo Higuchi) IMAF
2nd Dan Nihon Jujutsu & Tanjo Jutsu – ratified by Shizuya Sato 10th Dan based on previous Jujutsu grade IMAF
2d Dan Judo – Awarded by J Kruger 8th Dan (Kodokwan, Aiichi Judo club Tokyo, EJJU)
2nd Duan Taiji Quan – graded on the mat by my father Sifu David Keegan – I have currently done this style 15 years. We now come under Sifu Steve Rowe
2nd Dan Kiai Yamabushi Ryu Jujutsu – graded on the mat by J Lee-Barron and G Scarrott 8th Dan
1st Dan Bushido Freestyle – graded on the mat by Steve Bullough in 1999
grades from 9th Kyu to 1st Kyu also graded on the mat by S Bullough
Who taught the teachers?
SIFU DAVID KEEGAN TRAINING TIMELINE (Early dates are approximate)
Sifu David Keegan who runs the Metal Tiger Academy took his first martial arts lessons in 1959. He has studied the Yang style of Taiji Quan for 17 years. Here is a timeline of his studies.
1959-1962: Studying Jujutsu with Bernie Blundell (6th Dan British Ju Jitsu Association) at Kirkby, near Liverpool
1960s: Researching various methods of Yoga, meditation and Taoism
1960s: Researching the Edwarding method of Shinden Fudo Ryu Jujutsu known as Bartitsu as well as stickfighting, including Irish Bata
Late 1960s: Informal training with members of the Red Triangle, including Peter Hignott whose Sensei Andy Sherry was the chief instructor of Karate Union Great Britain under master Enoeda
Early 1970s: Taught Kobudo by a friend who was in his regiment in the Duke of Lancaster’s Own
1980s: Teaches son Simon basic Karate, Jujutsu, boxing and weapons. in 1988 goes to live and work in China.
1998-2006: Joins the Beijing Lian Jie school of Chinese Internal martial arts where he trains for eight years with principal Alan McDonnell, Instructor Elenud Sanderson and attending annual seminars with Professor Li De Yin and competing at some championships
2002-2010: Under Kokusai Budoin begins study of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido with Steve Chriscole as his primary instructor and also attending seminars with Keiji Tose, Hara, Yoshida, Elizabeth Noissier, John Lovatt and Hanshi Allan Tattersall.
2006 – present: Studying several different martial arts informally and on seminars including:
- Nisseikai Karate and White Crane Kung Fu with Reiner Parsons who graded him 3rd Duan
- Researching other forms of Kung Fu including Shaolin and Ba Duan jin
- Karate and Escrima with Bob Carruthers who graded him 4th Duan
- Myoshin Ryu Iaido with Hanshi Allan Tattersall
- Yang style Tai Chi with Sifu Steve Rowe