CULLOMPTON SHOTOKAN KARATE HISTORY
Originated as a Self Defence class which was started by Karate instructor Trevor Huges from Tiverton in 1977, originally run as self defence for women it was soon changed into a Karate club open to all, Trevor Jarrett was one of the first Karate members in 1978 along with his sister, Elaine.
Over the years the club has been run in most of the buildings with a hall of some kind in Cullompton, We trained in St Andrews School for over ten years, in the Cullompton hotel, (now demolished) cleaning up the spilt drinks before we started, in the community rooms, that has two floor levels! Skittle alleys which are not wide enough, and stone floors which are to hard. the best place would be in the centre of town, the parish rooms, but unfortunately it is used for sales ect so making the floor unsuitable. The club moved into the sports centre the week after it opened and has been there ever since, every Sunday except Christmas! Since 198 . In 2000 When we were no longer able to use St Andrews school the club moved the regular Wednesday weekly sessions to the Guildhall in Bradninch and now we use the Primary school, which has the best sprung wood floor and is a good size.
Going back again, Trevor Huges use to travel to Cullompton each week, Trevor and Elaine persuaded him to come twice a week but soon took on the teaching of the second lesson themselves, when they were only a few grades ahead of any new starters.
Grading's were held every 3 to 6 months when the grading examiner, Sensei Sherry, could travel from Liverpool to Barnstaple , the Cullompton and Tiverton members back in those days also had to also travel to Barnstaple to grade!
When Trevor Jarrett gained his first black belt in 1982 he took over all the teaching at the club, and has been running the club every since. As the size of the ‘sister’ Clubs in Tiverton grew a grading lesson was also held there, which is still where club members go every 3 months, still with the grading examiner Sensei Sherry, now 8th Dan.
Sensei Sherry was the First English person to gain his black belt, awarded to him in 1966 by Sensei Eneoda who came over to the UK to spread the karate word in the early 60’s, more details about Sensei Sherry and how Shotokan karate developed in the UK try www.KUGB.org