6th Degree Black Belt
I began my Korean martial arts training in the United Kingdom (UK) in September, 1975. As the years went by, I am proud to say that I was able to play a prominent role in helping to establish, develop, teach and promote Kuk Sool WonTM in the UK, until August 2, 2002. At that time, I was - and had been for quite a while - a senior Kuk Sool WonTM instructor: one of five 4th degree black belts in that country. (The highest ranking instructors were two 5th degree black belts: Kwan Jang Nims Philip Holmes and John Ives.) I had also served terms as chairman of the World Kuk Sool Association (United Kingdom Schools) Committee.
On August 3, 2002, I arrived in Calgary to build a new life in a new country.
On June 4, 2003, this school's first class was held. Since then, it has been my intention to establish, develop, teach and promote this versatile and comprehensive martial art in Calgary. And then, eventually, beyond into Alberta. But that is going to take a while!
On October 26, 2002, in the civic auditorium of the city of Gyeongju, South Korea, I was promoted to 5th degree black belt by Grandmaster Suh, In-hyuk. The picture on the right shows me, on your left, with, to my left, my instructor, Kwan Jang Nim Philip Holmes (who had just been promoted to 6th degree black belt), Grandmaster Suh, Kwan Jang Nim Steve Whiting and Kwan Jang Nim Martin Ducker, both of whom had also just been promoted to 5th degree black belt.
My other credentials:
In July, 1966, I was awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Biblical Studies from the University of Manchester, UK. After several years of research, in 1971 I was awarded a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy, also from the University of Manchester.
From September, 1969, until April, 2002, I was a secondary education teacher in schools in the East Anglia region of the United Kingdom.
I am also proud of the fact that I have been a Rotarian since July, 1983 - first of all in the town of Halesworth, Suffolk, and then in Bungay, Suffolk, both in the UK, and now as a member of the Calgary West Rotary Club.
Promotion to 6th Degree Black Belt
On October 11, 2008, in Houston, Texas, Grandmaster Suh promoted me to 6th degree black belt.
Although I have visited Houston on several occasions, this was the first time that my wife, JKN Rachel, and three other Calgary West students - JKN Jessica Allan, JKN Duncan MacMinn and (then) DBN Tim Allan - had made the trip.
Unfortunately, after the promotion ceremony there was not an occasion to update, as it were, the photograph above right. However, two other photographs can tell the tale.