My Martial Arts Journey started in June 1974, it was a Friday evening at the Kano Judo Club in Yeovil, Somerset. My Parents would not allow me to attend until I was thirteen. As a young boy I was ‘Frightened of my own shadow’ so couldn’t wait to learn how to protect myself from the school bullies, of which there were many. Growing up in the 1970’s meant being outside and playing sports, I was good at rugby and cricket, but didn’t know anything about Martial Arts until I saw the tv series Kung Fu with David Carradine which I was obsessed with. This along with the fact that I was terrified of anything that moved was my main inspiration to start At that time I didn’t know about Bruce Lee, I’m sure I would have been obsessed with him too.

Back then, unlike today 13 was very young to be learning Martial Arts, to be honest the brutality of training would have been way to much for 4 year old children. Plus the Instructors back then were all ‘Old school’ The Instructor (Sensei) at the Judo club was someone called Les, I think his surname was Gray but I’m not 100% sure, anyway this brings me on to name the best Instructors that I’ve had the honour and pleasure to train with. These are in no particular order, but the first seven have had the most direct influence on me, some of these people you will know, some you won’t. But that’s the thing with Martial Arts Instructors they stay with you forever.


I owe him everything, he taught me so many life lessons about perserverance, and especially indomitable spirit. To be honest I was not his favourite student, in fact in his own way he hated me especially as I had already had three years of Judo and the same time in Wado Ryu Karate. Mike hated that, and because I wasn’t as talented as some of the other students, he either ignored me totally, or beasted me. It was only later that I realised just what a gift he gave me, he taught me discipline, respect, resilience, courage, and the understanding that if you want something nobody is going to do it for you, you have to go out there and do it yourself.

I wish I had the opportunity to thank him for all the sessions were he beasted and taunted me, if you’re reading this… Thank you Sir.


Mike Witt was my first Instructor, and his teaching methods had a huge influence on my own teaching career, but I never wanted to ‘Be like him’ Keith Hague was the complete ‘Role model’ that I tried to copy. These were in the early 1980’s in the TAGB I know we shouldn’t copy, but oh my goodness he was what all TKD performers should be like. He could do everything amazingly well, and was a huge influence on me. His prescence, his style and his knowledge were all top notch. What people tend to forget that all Instructors still need another Instructor. In this case his N0.1 influence, and mine  was the next person on the list.

I believe Keith lives in Australia now, would love to meet him again if he returns to the UK.


Wow, what can I say, with the exception of the founder of Taekwondo Grand Master Hee Il Cho was probably the most famous Taekwondo person on the planet in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Not only was he the most amazing performer/Instructor/author, but also a film star appearing in Movies such as Best of the Best, Bloodsport II, Bloodsport III to name a few. His incredible energy was evident to anyone who met him, he was simply a ‘Powerhouse’ of a Martial Artist.

I was in awe of him, my first introduction to him came with a seminar somehere in the Midlands in the early 80’s. I remember there being probably 100 + students waiting to train with him. Everyone was very excited to train with the great Man, one of the senior grades took the warm up, but all everyone could hear was these ‘Loud shuddering noises’ going off as if the sports centre was in the middle of an earthquake.

We later found out that GM Cho was outside punching the walls with his bare hands. He came in to the seminar and before we knew it our two hours had gone.

I think what I enjoyed the most about his training (I think I did 4 or 5 seminars with him, and three black belt gradings) was that he mixed Taekwondo with boxing which has always been another passion of mine. His philosophy was to make Taekwondo as practical as possible, I loved that and to this day it’s always been my idea to make Taekwondo as useful as possible in the ‘Real world’

I think the last time I saw GM Cho was in December 1989 when he graded me to 3rd Degree, as far as I’m aware he’s still teaching in Hawaii at the age of 82, I would love to meet him personally and say thank you from someone who never had the opportunity before.

Respect Sir



His influence is felt by every living ITF Taekwondo practitioner, even if they never had the priviledge to meet him. I had the incredible honour of meeting/training/grading/socialising with him in September 2000.

Just a little backgound to my Taekwondo journey it started in New Milton in 1980 with a little WTF then UKTA until 1983 when the TAGB was formed, the TAGB years were where I grew up, in Taekwondo terms. Graded up to 4th Degree, and was lucky enough to be rewarded for my teaching skills twice with the prestigous ‘National Instructor of the year’ award. So I kinda knew my stuff, so to speak, at least I thought I did!

To cut a long story short, a group of colleaugues decided to leave the TAGB in 2000, and decided the best way to ‘Kick start’ the new association was to invite the founder of Taekwondo General Choi Hong Hi.

To our surprise he accepted and in Weymouth, our weekend began. I remember my job was to pick him up from his hotel take him to the seminar, then drive him back. I was so nervous on the Friday morning of the seminar, but he was very quiet and polite, and treated us all with great kindness. Remember when I said I thought I knew my stuff, after a few hours of training with him, I quickly realised I knew very little about Taekwondo, it was so different to what we did in the TAGB. We had leading practioners from all over the world training that weekend.

This was without doubt the biggest turning point in my Taekwondo journey, to learn from him in the training hall, and to spend time with him socialising and marvelling at his humour was priceless. At the end the weekend I was fortunate to grade to 5th Degree with him that, and it’s an experience that I will treasure for as long as I live.


Remember at the start of this article I told you that ‘I was afraid of my own shadow’ Well after almost 30 years of training in Judo, Karate, Boxing and Taekwondo there was something in me that ultimately meant I was still afraid! You have to understand all the training, even the competing was all strictly controlled, or was with fully compliant training partners, so confronting nerves was always present, but confronting fear wasn’t.

In 2002 that all changed, I’d be fooling myself into thinking that learning Martial Arts was going to make me fearless, I’d only ever had two fights, and they were ‘Ambush style’ attacks. So I digress, I had the opportunity to go to Colorado in February 2002 to train with Bill Kipp for a week’s intensive training course Bill ran at the time FAST Defence FAST being an acronym for FEAR ADRENAL STRESS TRAINING. And myself and two others went to become certified Instructors. I would continue my certification with Bill on several visits to the amazing Rockies.

Even though Bill was our Instructor we were also mentored by Peyton Quinn, I found him fascinating, and a big influence. For those in the UK who know Geoff Thompson and the amazing work he did in the field of reality based training, based on his work as a doorman in Coventry. Well Peyton was the American equivelant only a decade or so earlier.

Not only was Bill Kipp a great Instructor, but he was also a great friend to me. The skills and experiences I had with him over the following 15 years will always stay with me. Thank you my friend (By the way he’s the one with folded arms)

Before I get to my favourite Instructor I’d just like to name some of the other top Instructors I’ve trained with.

Dan Inasanto – Amazing Martial Artist and student of the legendary Bruce Lee

Eric Paulson –  Loved his approach to training

Mark Weir – Great to learn from one of the UK’s first MMA stars

Herrol Graham – Great British boxer eager to share his knowledge

Neil Adams – Britain’s finest Judo Coach

Geoff Thompson – So much to learn from him

Mark Hutton – Haven’t trained with him, but really want to, my kind of Taekwondo Instructor


I’ve left my No.1 Instructor until the end.

Wow, just Wow. The Guy is an incredible ‘Force of nature’ his capacity to educate and inspire people is impossible to put down in words. In my opinion he’s the best Self Protection Instructor in the World today. If you’ve ever seen him in action, you’ll understand what I mean. His field is dealing with real life violence, he’s not interested in anything that doesn’t work under Adrenal stress.

I first came across him when I returned to the UK from my training with Bill Kipp.

I was at home and the phone rang and a Guy said ” Hi, my name is Lee Morrison and I want to come and train with you” I can remember it as if it was yesterday, I went really quiet, then said ” What the Lee Morrison, Urban Combatives?” To which he replied “yes2, I was speechless as I knew at the time that Lee was kind of taking over the mantle of reality based training in the UK from his friend Geoff Thompson. I was a mere beginner compared to him, but he came to the course I was running and from then on we struck up a bit of a friendship.

The best way for me to explain how good he is to you is this. Someone posted on social media a while back which 4 of these 12 famous Martial Arts movie stars would you choose to help you in a fight (People like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Van Damme, Jason Statham, Scott Atkins etc) I simply put ” None of them, I’d have Lee Morrison”

God bless you Lee, keep up you’re amazing work

So, in conclusion I’d like to leave you with this last thought :















Malcolm Jones