Matthew Rathmill, Sandan
When and where did you start karate? Early 80s at Temple St Church Hall, Middleton Bushido Karate Club.
First instructor: Sensei Phil Moulton
First started teaching: 88-89 started to help at a club in Middleton (Kokoro) when the instructor was having a few problems. Ran the club with a good friend of mine, Mike Richmond.
Relevant experience: Trained in the martial arts from a very early age as my father did karate in the early 70's and taught me bits and bobs. So in a way he was my very first instructor. Have done the usual courses. Never really got much from them! Taught in my own club from 1995-2000 before it folded.
Grading record:Up to 3rd kyu, Terry Pottage; 3rd-1st kyu, Tommy Kwan; 1st dan 1992, Tommy Kwan, Steve Yates, Callum Moore; 2nd dan 1995, Steve Yates, Chris Yates, Callum Moore; 3rd dan 1999, Denis Casey.
Biggest influences: Richard Rathmill, my father. Mentally the strongest man I ever met (and the smartest).
Sensei Phil Moulton, a great if stern teacher who gave me my technique and sense of discipline. Sensei Tom Buggie, possibly the finest practical martial artist I know. Sensei Moulton gave me technique. Sensei Buggie taught me what to do with it.
And finally, my oldest and longest friend sensei Mike Richmond for providing me with the inspiration and the extra push to train beyond my limits, and for showing me training hard can still be fun.
Competition honours: Many inter-club and local / regional. Won some. Lost some. The ones of note:
Ken Yu Kai U18 kumite 1st
1994 BKA Open U75 kumite 1st
1996 BKA Open +75 kumite 2nd
1998 BSK Open Team kumite 1st
2000 Preston Open kumite 1st
2012 WUKO European Championships: Runner Up, Veterans' Kumite
2012 Oldham Open: Bronze, Veterans' Kumite
Favourite aspects of karate: The art but not at the expense of effectiveness. If the technique is good, everything else should fall into place.
Favourite technique: Ashi Barai (great for all occasions)
Favourite food: Lamb
Favourite book/ author: Jaws, Peter Benchley
Desert Island Disc Anything by Clapton, Hendrix or Gilmour, and the "Young Guns" guitarists, Philip Sayce, Joe Bonamassa. Greatest album; "John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton".
Favourite film: Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner, Hero - depends what day it is.
Other external interests: Music (I love to make a noise on my electric guitar). Art - should draw more often than I do