My name is Jon Brunskill, I started Karate in 1985, due to an unfortunate incident on a bus, although my interest in the Martial Arts started way before that, thanks mainly to the series kung fu and of course Bruce Lee!! As a child I’d had a few lessons in Aikido but as no classes were being held around here in that art, I settled for another I’d always fancied…Karate. I found a local club and joined the 20 or so children in the beginner’s class. It was ok and my instructor was of a good standard, so I stuck around for a few months, until I was told I was good enough to go into the adult class. What an eye opener….this was where the REAL stuff was. There were some really good fighters in the class and I found I was enjoying being pushed and although I was no natural at Karate, I wasn’t doing too badly. I took a few gradings under Milton, my instructor and one night a young black belt also trained called Peter Coffey, he performed a kata on his own and the hairs on the back of my neck just stood to attention!.... that is what I wanted to do! Shortly after due to a problem with his heart, Milton suddenly died. About a month later I spotted an advert in the local paper, asking any of Milton’s students to phone, we were asked to join a new club…….Lee and Peter COFFEY’S.!
After six years of mixing family life with Karate I took my black belt, a grueling four and three quarter hour grading. The sense of fulfillment and immense achievement at passing that grading is something I’ll never forget. In 1993 I knew it was time for my own club to be opened and June of that year it happened, 40 students turned up and so began a learning curve not only for them but for me as well. Over the next 15 years I trained over 20 black belts of all ages and classes, with hundreds of students coming through my books. 2008 saw me closing the club due to falling numbers and saying a sad farewell to my existing ones, (although we did all keep in touch).
I also said farewell to my instructor of 20 yrs and we wished each other all the best for the future.
A year later and some of my old sparring buddies got in touch wanting to know how to go about setting up their own club and after attending a meeting with them, found myself getting enthused all over again!
The outcome of that meeting was Tenei-na Karate club!!!!!!!!
I’m looking forward to the future, to see where it will go and how far we can take the club but we’ve got a good association behind us, in the form of the English Karate Organisation and a great set of good Karateka in the form of the instructors, so let’s get it ON.