Hi, my name’s Scott.
I was born in 1961, the decade that saw the Beatles, the first man on the moon and England win the World Cup!
But of course I was too young for all that. Instead I went seamlessly from Led Zeppelin to the Sex Pistols and the Clash!
Mine is an arts and sports background. I studied Fine Art and was enthralled by the beauty of the Japanese written language. All those cursive squiggles seemed like works of art to me, and of course Japanese calligraphy (shodō) is an art form that Tomiki sensei was also highly skilled in. It was the beauty of the written language that got me interested in Japan in the first place.
Then of course, there was Bruce Lee. Together with Bruce and Japanese writing, my first foray into martial arts was with Judo. At that time it was Neil Adam’s heartbreak just missing out on Olympic gold, and Brian Jacks kicking everyone’s ass in the TV show Superstars.
When I was practising Judo randori I fell awkwardly and dislocated my shoulder. I rammed it back into its socket long before Mel Gibson did in Lethal Weapon! I started looking for another Japanese martial art with similar principles to Judo and was tipped off about an aikido demonstration in a large, old, dark room in a warehouse in East London.
The demonstration was by a diminutive Japanese man by the name of Nariyama Tetsuro throwing a large Westerner around called Phil Newcombe. I’d done and watched Judo. I knew what real throws were. This guy was hammering Mr. Newcombe repeatedly into the mat. I was awestruck. By chance, I had stumbled on the martial art for me.
I graduated from university in 1983 and saved enough money over the summer to get to Japan and Nariyama sensei’s dojo. Unbeknown to me, Nariyama sensei was the technical director for shodokan aikido, and the little dojo above a garage with pillars and torn mats, tucked around a small side street in downtown Osaka was the hombu!
The rest, as they say, is history. If you are interested you can read my history in My CV.
I would like to thank Nariyama sensei for giving me shodokan aikido, and Japan for giving me sento bath houses!
Dōmo arigatō gozaimashita!