The Newham Story > Newham memories and nostalgia

Stratford Karate Club - Bill Stevens Gym


Stan Dyson:
Did any of the other posters go through the blood, sweat & tears of the Stratford Kyokushinkai Karate Club, that trained inside Bill Stevens Gymnasium in the old Stratford Broadway Gaumont cinema?  I started off training in the Wado-Ryu style and then a Stratford black belt named Dickie Wu opened a club in our Essex area.  I switched styles to Kyokushinkai Karate and then trained Saturday mornings at the Stratford club.  I had been training for mainly sporting & competition karate, but I found that the Stratford fighting sessions were the closest you would get to a real punch-up – sometimes worst!.  At times I staggered out down the stairs there black & blue – especially as a blue belt after fighting their top rated black belt called Brian Fitkin in 1970.  When I arrived back home the imprint of one of his kicks was still imprinted on my body!
Ticky Donovan was training there at the time & he was one of the top black belt fighters in the UK, so I switched to his Dagenham club and was the very first of his students (with 2 others) to attain black belt status in 1972.  I finally retired from the sport in 1997.  Does anyone else have fond memories of training there back in the 60’s/70’s? - Stan 


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