About the Author

Grenville Harrop is a Master of Science and Fourth-Dan Shotokan Karate-ka who is privileged to have spent over thirty years teaching and training with many of the world’s best instructors and fighters.

 

acknowledgements

The martial arts community in general, and I know this of karate in particular, is full of generous individuals, with people who are willing to give their time and energy to teach, learn or practice the way of that art. I know of no other craft, sport or vocation in which the seniors and masters of the art or profession are so accessible and amenable.

My thanks therefore to all those who have helped me along the way for they provided a foundation from which this book could be built.

Although my very first instructor in karate was Sensei Mike Toze, of the Rochdale Shotokan Karate Club, my predominant and long term instructor has been Sensei John Cheetham originally of the Lymm & Altrincham Karate Club in England. My first decade and more in Karate was under the direct instruction of John within an organization headed by Master Enoeda, who was aided by a group of outstanding instructors. My shodan certificate bears the signatures of Master Nakayama and Master Enoeda.

When moving from England to Boise, Idaho, USA in 1996 I was at first unable to locate a Shotokan club and trained with a good Taekwondo instructor (J. Stinnett) before finding Sensei Joe Shuter’s Shotokan School. Relocation to Idaho Falls in 2000 brought me into contact, in every sense of the word, with Shotokan black belt Randy Hubbard and we became long term training partners and good friends. This prompted a more active connection to Master Nishiyama’s organization and I benefited from the instruction and training with some of the best karateka in the US, including Sensei (Dr.) Tim Hanlon, who encouraged me to finish this book. Moving to Pittsburgh in 2006 brought me to the Pennsylvania Shotokan Karate Club of Sensei Dustin Baldis, a former international champion and a current USA National Team coach, and I train at his clubs as often as possible. I was also introduced to a small but dedicated group of mature black belts, from Master Viola’s Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club, and I accepted their kind invitation to train at their advanced class on Saturday mornings.

I return to England several times a year and each time find my way back to the watchful eye of John Cheetham and a small group of training partners who have known each other for over thirty years. I suspect that I will be with my bare footed brethren until my journey is over and then may ask my younger brother and best friend Chris (3rd Dan Shotokan) to make sure the belt sees a few more years.

I remain a student of the martial arts and always will. My occupation has always involved travel and occasional periods away from home. This has allowed me to train in places that would otherwise have been inaccessible—from the JKA Honbu Dojo in Tokyo to the SKA Caltech Dojo in Pasadena; from a Master Nishiyama seminar in Windsor, England to a dawn session in a park in Shanghai. Whenever I attend a special course or train at a different club or in another country I am reminded of the global family within which I reside. The true martial artists, those that now train with a tempered ego, open their doors to others that follow similar paths with a non verbal welcome that is as deafening as it is inaudible. For this we should all be grateful.

It has been my experience that the martial arts are available, at all levels, for those that are prepared to apply the effort expected. It is as though the void reaches out to those who are deserving; all it asks is that you pay for the privilege. It is a simple equation, when you enter a training hall and stand amongst fighters you either have to have earned the right to be there or you have to pay later; or both.

If you understand, things are just as they are
If you do not understand, things are just as they are
Zen proverb

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