Chi Rei Kai Karate

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Mark Firman

3rd Dan

I was inspired to start practising Shotokan Karate in 1986 and became a member of SEKU (South of England Karate Union) under Sensei Richard Barratt.  I was also fortunate to attend training and gradings with Sensei’s Mick Dewey and Mervyn O’Donnell whilst a student there.  I trained regularly and progressed through most of the Kyu grades and competed in some of the South of England competitions.  Career and circumstances then took over and I took a lengthy break from practising Shotokan Karate but never lost the desire to continue again at some point.

Some years later I joined the JSKA (Japanese Shotokan Karate Association) in under Sensei Stevan Harrison (7th Dan) and latterly Sensei Paul Larson and Viv Dodd.  After progressing my way through the Kyu grades again I was fortunate enough to be awarded JSKA Shodan and Nidan black belt.  After continuous training I was privileged to be awarded a JSKA Sandan in 2018 and prior to that JSKA B level instructor, examiner and judge qualification under Sensei Harrison.  Whilst at the JSKA, I attended seminars with their many senior Instructors and, most notably, Shihan Keigo Abe (9th Dan).  I have always been keen to attend other open seminars with instructors such as Sensei Kagawa and Sensei Rick Hotton to try and broaden my knowledge and experience of the art.

I moved to Devon in 2021 and was delighted to find the Chi Rei Kai Karate club close to home.   We are fortunate at Chi Rei Kai to have a such a wealth of experience and insight amongst the senior instructors coupled with excellent, enjoyable and relatable styles of teaching and I look forward to continuing my personal progression.  I enjoy teaching others and hope I can play some part in other students progression.  I like seeing a fellow student have that ‘lightbulb’ moment.  I am looking forward to not only developing my own karate at Chi Rei Kai but also helping others to do so.

I am a firm believer that Karate is for anyone and everyone.

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