Senpai John Smith (2nd Dan)
Sempai John Smith started training in 1973 at Hastings Kyokushinkai Club.
Hanshi Steve Arneil was the chief instructor at the time, the club instructor was John Simms.
Numerous instructors also visited the club, Shihans Brian Fitkin, David Cook, Bernard Creton to name a few.
The training was hard and very basic. After 1 year training John had been graded to 6th kyu.
John stopped training for personal reasons but still kept in touch with instructors.
John resumed training in 1983, at Hastings and Bexhill Kyokushinkai Club now based in Bexhill, Hanshi Steve Arneil was still the chief instructor. The club instructor was now Sensei Jim Elvery.
By 1986 John had reached his 2nd kyu and by 1990 he achieved his 1st kyu. He finally achieved his Shodan (black belt) in 1998.
In 2002 John attended - what will be remembered as - a tremendously difficult BKK Summer Camp. After a week of gruelling training and exams, he passed his Nidan grading.
John has competed in several competitions over the years, gaining a lot of personal achievements.
Today John still trains 3-4 times a week. Twice at Bexhill instructing 1 of those sessions, and takes the training at West Hill Kyokushinkai club with Sempai Leeann Dormer (1st Dan).
John helps run an extra training session, giving students extra help for competitions, gradings etc.
John has been training for many years and still continues to learn both from his instructors and fellow karateka.