Animalia Champions is back with a bang 💥.
We are looking forward to sharing the story of someone who has been a great supporter, friend and champion of ours. It is a pleasure to share Stevie's story and hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did, thank you Stevie.
"I joined Karate to keep me off the streets and do something good with my life back then as a few of my friends back then took another journey taking drugs and all that , and back then there wasn't the recourses and support like there is today.
My Martial Arts journey began in 1982 when I was 10 year old , I joined a local Karate club called Kasuga under Tam Hall 6th Dan I trained twice a week and got to my orange belt and then in 1984 one of his students Mike Gilhooley 3rd Dan at the time opened up Bushi No Te Karate club at the local adventure centre in which my father was chairman of club and also a Brown belt at Shotokan Karate but joined with myself to train with me and encourage me to keep training .
We both trained under Mike Gilhooley at Free Style Karate over the years and in 1986 my father graded for his black belt 1st Dan and is currently a 6th Dan Master at 75 years old and still actively teaching and training .
Over the years I trained 3 to 4 time a week and competed at a few Competitions for sparring and done quite well. I continued training hard and graded and went through all grades and received my Black belt 1st Dan in 1991 at 19 years old , I continued training and competed at local comps at point sparring and done quite well. Over the years continuing training and eventually started teaching Karate at my own club which enjoyed for a few years and then stopped teaching and joined Army and continued training on my weekends on leave but unfortunately was Medically discharged from Army due to viral infection in my Heart and when got better I continued training at my Karate and then in 2000 at 32 year old I tested for my 2nd Dan which was a great achievement and a grading I will never forget . I kept training and then in 2007 I moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow with my wife and kids and continued training often at Karate .
In 2008 I joined another Martial Arts club to keep my training up, The Martial Arts called Kuk Sool Won , Traditional Korean Martial Arts and still kept up with my Karate training from time to time to time . I Trained in Kuk sool won over the years and competed regular at comps in The Scottish champs, The UK champs, club champs yearly and The Worls Champs in Texas, I competed at each comp in Empty hand forms , Joint Loch techniques and point sparring in which done really well with Gold and Silver for all events. I continued training and in Nov 2015 I received my Black belt 1st Dan and continued training and competing .
Continuing training at Kuk Sool Won, i then started training at Punisher Kick Boxing club and trained for about a year but due to work commitments and shifts i had to stop training at PKA but continued at Kuk Sool Won classes around my shifts at work and then in 2018 i went back to PKA and have continued training at the mighty PKA till present and have graded to the level of Green belt/Blue tag and will continue training there until as long as I can train and hope to gain a PKA black belt one day at this amazing club .
I have trained for about 40 years in Martial Arts and absolutely love the journey and gained 2 Black belt in 2 different Arts and hope to get 3rd black belt and will continue training hard as long as I can."