Who, Instructor profile (Bob Davis)
I come from a Shotokan Karate background and achieved my 3rd Dan Black belt in 2011 and 4th Dan in 2017, and whilst I originally started my training back in 1978 I have been back seriously studying "Traditional" Karate for around 20 years now and "Applied" Karate under a number of top instructors for around the last 9 years (although it's been in the background of my training since I was a brown belt in 2001).
Although from a Shotokan background my training and philosophy have moved so far from what is accepted as classical "Shotokan style" that I no longer claim to teach Shotokan (although anyone who knows will recognise the influences that are still there). Having had the time to step back and evaluate what I do this year I have rebranded my style as "Kuso-Yaro Ryu" which is a better (if slightly irreverent) description of what I now do.
As a style founder and head I am now at liberty to adopt what ever name, title and grade I so chose (apparently) so I am now known as "Bob", I am an "Instructor" and hold the rank of 4th Dan (my last legitimate external karate grade).
For the sake of complete information, I also carry full liability insurance, first aid and safeguarding certification and am fully DBS/CRB checked. I am registered through the Independent Martial Art Sport Association and am a member of the International Seito Karate Kenkyukai.
I am also a founder member and instructor for the "Bunkai Bastards", a private study group for practical karate based self defence.
Why do I teach what I teach?
My personal belief is that traditional Karate has a lot to offer and is a very good place to start your study but, because of the changes made along it's development into what you see today, it has lost a lot of it's practicality in real world situations and is of limited use in actual self protection scenarios. Everything you need is in the classical training it's just the understanding and the emphasis that needs to change.
What do I teach?
I still teach traditional style technique as I believe it provides an excellent foundation in good martial body mechanics but have moved away from the concept of teaching ever more convoluted and contrived (and impractical) combinations of technique as a measure of skill into a straight forward applied syllabus that means you can have a useable set of skills for "street" (although I dislike the term as it's just become the current marketing buzz word for all modern martial arts) within months rather than years of training. That does not mean that this is a short cut to Black belt standard (trust me you will work long and hard for that :-) ) but it does mean that you can at least start to take away something useful pretty much from day one.
This is achieved by studying basic technique linked through Kata, the pre-defined "forms" of karate (claimed as the very core or heart of karate but seldom taught in any depth) to applied technique practised with a partner using common forms of attack. This brings life back to the kata and makes sense of your solo practice.
Does this mean I can turn anyone into a "lean, mean, fighting machine"? No, obviously not. The unfortunate truth (or fortunate, depending on your world view) is that not everybody has the nature or potential. Can I give you a set of physical skills which will much improve your chances in a physical confrontation, almost certainly. This is a surprisingly unpopular thing to say as many want to believe that they will be indestructible with a bit of training BUT much as I want the training to be realistic I want student expectations to be realistic also. The world outside is not the dojo! focusing mainly on movement, fitness and flexibility and the "art" without the "rough & tumble", although you are welcome to do both if you are so inclined (and without a room full of small children to contend with).
Additionally I run Women only self defence classes but these are done for small groups as an "on demand" session, typically over 4 weeks, although can be amalgamated into a single half day course covering both theory and practical. These can be arranged either as daytime or evening sessions. These courses cover situational awareness, discussions of likely scenarios, how not to be a victim and effective physical skills for the sort of situations Women may face. Drop an e-mail to the address below for more detail or to register interest.
Classes run on Tuesday evenings in Croxley Green and Wednesday evenings in Rickmansworth South West Hertfordshire, e-mail or phone for full details. Short courses and day/half day sessions can be run at your venue by arrangement.