4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture
Mentors and how did you get where you are?

Hi all

Recently I had few questions on subject where did I learn my way of karate. So I thought that would be good topic on the forum, as all of us have been influence by someone. For me training with martial arts started after watching Enter the Dragon J. Along the way I had and still have three main teachers who shaped my understanding of martial arts and planted in my concepts and helped to develop my own ways.

Most influential teacher is Sensei Artur Marchewka 5th Dan Shin Ai Do Karate, he always was encouraging me to try other stuff then karate. As I’m not great with writing in English I put videos instead as picture is a 1000 words.


Second person who changed my way of looking on karate was wrestling Coach Marek Niemiec his ability to translate karate moves into wrestling throws drastically changed my view of karate.


Third most influential instructor is Sensei Marek Mroszczyk whose ability to teach always mesmerise me. I learnt from him how to improve my way of teaching.


I think we all know how Iain started and who was his role models thanks to his brilliant podcast, there is many great instructors and martial artists here I would be interested to read, watch your story. 

Ps. I hope you enjoyed Polish tangue twisting surnames :) 

Kind regards


Tau's picture

I've had a very meandering path in the martial arts due to a combination of factors. Firstly because I live in a very rural area. When I started training my chocie was Lau Gar or..... well that was it. I up Jujitsu in 1994 but my Sensei had a Karate history and so I learned the Pinan kata along with some other. We were essentially doing 3K Karate with some "Jujitsu" thrown in because of course Karate doesn't have locks and throws. Oh I wish I knew then what I know now, but I suspect we could all say that.

I moved away to univeristy and continued training and took up Budokan Karate there. Since finishing university in 2002 I've done several styles but bizarrely have kept finding my way back to Karate. Three years ago I split from the organisation that I did Jujitsu under for twenty years and went my own way. I would still consider myself to have done Jujitsu since 1994 albeit with almost constant evolution and in latter years assimilation. That Jujitsu is now heavily influenced by the Karate methods that we all subscribe to. 

My three biggest influences (it would be wrong to look for the single person as that would be a disservice to the others):

1. My second Jujitsu Sensei with whom I practiced at university - Mr Chris Raven who has now retired from the martial arts

2. My Aikido Sensei, Mr Mike Bent, who gave much life guidance

3. Iain, who is currently the biggest influence on how I practice and teach martial arts

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Thanks Tau

Great that you have found your way :)

Kind regards 


PASmith's picture

Initially my role models were the TAGB/TKD fighters I saw competing. Tony Sewell, Dave Shepherd, Joe Schembri. Bill Wallace was a big idol.

Then I realised I was missing out the very thing I got into martial arts to discover which was some self defence knowledge (went down the competition route when I found out I could kick a bit). So Geoff Thompson became a massive influence.

Then I realised I needed more wide ranging fighting skills beyond what I'd learnt doing TKD. So I started something called "Progressive Hapkido" and it was there I met someone that could truly fight at all ranges and with sticks and weapons, punches, kicks, locks, the lot. That guy was Terry Gill and he's since stopped teaching AFAIK. He really showed me what a martial artist could really achieve if not constrained by style or dogma.

Lately, like Tau, Mr Abernethy has become a massive influence. I've only trained at a couple of his seminars but from intercacting with him, reading his work and seeing what he does I think he does martial arts "right" (IMHO of course). Learning from tradition but not constrained by it, adopting modern methods but not chucking tradition away in the process, always having an eye on self defence but not losing sight of the wider benefits of martial arts (fighting, fitness, enjoyment, etc), always rooted in reality but allowed to sprout beyond that, still having belts and gradings but making them actuially mean something, etc etc. I could go on.

So overall my mentors have been distant for the large part. I'm as much shaped by them as my actual instructors.