Sensei Linden Huckle

When Sensei Andrew Law moved to Scotland Sensei Huckle took over the teaching at the Dojo, he remembers well his first few months teaching.

‘I was petrified, I didn't know what to do, so all I did was stand in front of the class with my back to them and then proceeded to do every lesson as a stamina session in Kihon, Kumite and Kata, needless to say I just about lost everyone and it wasn't just the stamina side of things (they were used to that with Sensei Law), even though I was training seven days a week, I just wasn't teaching anything. I then spent the next ten to fifteen years going on every course that I thought was good, Sensei Enoeda's training camps at Crystal palace, the excellent KUGB training camps at Lancaster university and Torbay along with any other courses that had top Karateka teaching at. Naturally my teaching improved as the years went by, the instructors on these courses were fantastic and I tried to take the best from all of their teaching skills and apply them to my own. ‘

Sensei Huckle’s competition career didn’t begin until he was nineteen years old and a black belt, he won several competitions in both Kata and Kumite, he remembers with a smile, one of his last competitions, ‘I came first in Kata and team kumite , the guy who won the Kata for eight years running came to me and said, congratulations but next year I’ll beat you and win the title back, I said , I don’t think so, I’m not coming again, I felt quite sorry for him, he looked devastated’ Sensei Huckle has mixed feelings about competition, he believes that if done properly competitions can help someone develop all the positive attributes found in people, but if done incorrectly it can develop all the negative attributes found in people. He explains, ‘if you train hard then go to a competition, you really want to win and you will die rather than give up, if you win, great, but if you lose, you lose graciously and with honour. I’ve seen it so many times where someone loses and storms of the mat, these people should not be allowed to compete, I’ve seen it where people pretend to be injured so as to get their opponent penalised, these people should not be allowed to compete, I’ve seen it where people lose their temper, these people should not be allowed to compete. If people are going to compete they should follow the example set by people like Frank Brennan and Ronnie Christopher who show the same respect to their opponents whether they win or lose and would rather die than give up and rather die than cheat.

A few years ago Sensei Huckle was introduced to Shihan Akio Minakami 8 th Dan who has transformed Sensei Huckle’s views and ideas about the martial arts, Sensei Huckle speaks very highly of him, he says, ‘ I have trained with many masters over the years and they have all been great, but Shihan Minakami has what I call the ‘WOW’ factor, his Karate and Kobudo is of the highest level, he is a gentleman, he has time for everyone and I know that my future in Karate is with Shihan Minakami.’

Cambridge Zanshin Black Belt Karate Academy

Zanshin Karate Club is a Shotokan Karate Club based in Cambridge