|Thursday, 25 December 2008 00:00|
Branch Chief and Chief Instructor for United Kingdom
Simon Oliver comes from a background of Martial Artists. His father (5th Dan) and uncles studied various styles including Judo and Ju-Jitsu. Simon originally started training under the guidance of his grandfather, who had studied Ju-Jitsu with Yukio Tani Sensei. But when the front lounge became too small his father enrolled him in the local boys Judo Club.
However, on seeing a dynamic display of Karate at Alexander Palace Simon decided he wanted to train in this instead. So after pleading with his father, private lessons where arranged with a family friend, called Pete Bell. Pete was a student of Suzuki Sensei and taught Simon Wado-Ryu Karate (in 1968). He achieved the rank of Shodan in 1972 and won Junior Kumite and Kata in a local competition. This was to be the beginning of Simon's career and study of Karate.
His family then moved to South Yorkshire, where Simon studied Shito-Ryu (then known as Shukokai) under the guidance of Alan Rushby. He returned home to Liverpool in the 1970's where he began his training in Shotokan with Sensei Terry O'Neill and began competing in various competitions from Local interclub events to full contact tournaments that took him around the world including Japan where he has studied and trained on numerous occasions.
In 1977 he moved to Nottingham and started training with Shiro Asano Sensei but unfortunately, training times clashed with his studies at Trent Polytechnic and with his part time job with the Nottingham night club security business, so he started training with a small K.U.G.B. dojo and travelled to Liverpool once a month to continue his training with Terry O'Neill. It was not long after this that Simon opened the Zanshin dojo with two former students of Asano Sensei. His dojo proved very successful and gained a fearsome reputation for both tournament wins and tough training.
Although having competed for many years Simon has become renowned for his knowledge on the realistic applications found in Kata."There is no limit. I believe that if you restrict people's imaginations (to go beyond the basic form of kata) you prevent them from developing a natural fighting reaction. The kata is a structure designed for solo exercise. You need to develop it by taking segments of the kata and practising it as close-quarter combat, effective one-step with as many variations and in as many directions as possible, allowing the body to move naturally to the attack. My understanding of this comes from a synthesis of my own research and watching what my instructors, Terry O'Neill and Dave Hazard, have been teaching over the years. Both of them teach a very realistic form of karate, yet both have skills that herald from the competitive arena."
Simon has since spent many years studying kata in depth and has intrigued and inspired many karateka around the world with his seminars, demonstrating practical interpretations of kata movements (bunkai, oyo and henka). He has released a number of videos to explain and help develop a better understanding of kata, and has been the focus for many magazine articles.
Simon Oliver is a well-known international instructor who also runs a full-time dojo in Nottingham, U.K. He holds qualification in many martial arts, including Godan in (motobu) Shorin-ryu, Tananouchi-ryu jujitsu, Katori shinto-ryu, Yondan in JKA Shotokan and Goju-ryu, Sandan in Judo and Aikido, Nidan in Kofukan Shito-ryu, and Shodan in Wado-ryu. His wide range of skills makes him a very interesting instructor in close quarter techniques and applications of the meaning of kata techniques.
|Last Updated on Monday, 04 October 2010 19:06|