Karate has been a part of my life since I started training in Goldsmiths' college, London, in the early '90s. I stopped and started again over the years, going through the belts until I got my brown belt in 1996, awarded by the awesome Keinosuke Enoeda, founder of the Karate Union of Great Britain.
At the time I was a bit of a Karate fanatic and would regularly punch my friends in the chest and burst into katas on the dance floor. And a band I was in at the time - Bon Tempi - wrote a song called 'Karate Party'. Here are some of the lyrics: "Karate party at the lake tonight, I'll get the beers in if you get the beers in..."
What was the point of all this?...oh yes...
I continued training after I moved to Bristol, but only occasionally. Work took over, well, work and beer and farting about.
Since moving to Toronto three years ago, I have been concentrating mostly on writing, so the lack of demanding shoots has freed up my time to pursue Karate again. And in November 2014, I was awarded my black belt by the also very awesome Sensei Saeki.
We were training in the basement of a church until the chief instructor of our Toronto club Wilfred Seerattan decided to buy his own place and turn it into a purpose built dojo. And around the time he started working on it, something like March 2014, I asked him if he wanted a video made to promote the dojo. He said: "Yes".
So, after a year of training, writing, being a dad, selling a house in the UK, buying a house in Toronto, beer and farting about, I managed to cobble this film together. It features all the people that train at the club and an interview with Sensei Wilfred himself.
It was shot on a Canon Rebel T2, a GoPro and funky little Kodak action camera I borrowed off my daughter (also very awesome) and cut on Final Cut Pro X. It's rough around the edges, a little soft in places and only uses available light, but I'm quite proud of it. And more importantly, my Sensei is pleased.
You can watch it here: