About Sham Aktar 6th Dan - Chief Club Coach
Sensei Sham Aktar's martial arts journey began in the early 70's when he was a young boy and watched Bruce Lee film trailers on TV. He was captivated by them and vowed to become good in martial arts just like him. Subsequently he joined the then Bruce Lee Fan Club and received all the news and articles about Bruce Lee's training methods and JKD courses that were being run by Bruce Lee's personal students.Sadly his childhood hero Bruce Lee passed away in July 1973.
Nevertheless, there were some of Bruce Lee's personal students who were teaching Bruce Lee's JKD methods, such as Bruce Lee's assitant instructor Sifu Danny Inosanto who at the time used to come over from the USA to the UK to hold courses and seminars on Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do method of Gung FU.
Since he wanted to be the best in martial arts, he continued with other styles of martial arts such as Kyokushinkai Karate with Sensei Steve Arneil 7th Dan- upto green belt level, Kick Boxing &TaekwonDo with sensei Richard Cox 4th Dan, achieving his first Degree Black Belt in Master Heel ILL Cho's 8th Dan method of WTF Taekwondo.
Around this time, he also attended many courses run by Benny the 'Jet' Urquidez from USA, who was promoting his version of karate which he called kick boxing/American full contact karate. Benny the Jet at that time was knocking out the world's best Muay Thai fighters in full contact karate matches using his style of kick boxing karate, which Aktar sensei had an opportunity to learn and experience from him. Being young, Aktar sensei especially favoured the kicking methods of the martial arts, and at the time in one of the editions of the Bruce Lee's fan club magazine which he used to receive regularly through the post, he remembered reading how Bruce Lee was very impressed by the kicking techniques of Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama 9th Dan, who was promoting the Shotokan JKA style of karate in the USA. This was what first got him really interested in exploring, & learning the Shotokan JKA system, which he has continued to practise until today.
Being young at the time, Aktar sensei enjoyed the kumite (fighting) aspect of martial arts & was regularly participating in karate competitions in his early years, he felt he needed to devote his energy & focus into just one of his many martial arts that he was practising, due to his participation in competitions,& felt that he did not have the time to study all of many martial arts at the same time. Hence he chose to stick with Shotokan JKA Karate, due to personal preference.
Since he was so enthusiatic in his study and practice of karate, he decided to go to the source and learn the the art from the world's best original Shotokan Karate JKA masters. Finally he got this chance to travel to both China and Japan between 2005-2008... he spent 3 months in Japan in 2005, training at the Tokyo JKA HQ, as well as at Kanazawa Shihan's 9th Dan SKI, and Sensei Yahara's 8th Dan Karate KWF organisations.
In summary, over a period of 45 years,Aktar sensei has personally trained with the very best original famous masters of Shotokan JKA Karate. These included Masters: Nishiyama 10th Dan, Kase 10th Dan,Kanazawa 9th Dan, Asai 9th Dan, Shirai 8th Dan, Enoeda 8th Dan, Tanaka 8th Dan,Kawasoe 8th Dan,Asano 8th Dan and many others. During his travels he also learnt Tai-Chi from many masters. His Taichi masters have included: Sifu's: W.Cheung, L.Deyin, Yang Zhengduo, and of course Master H. Kanazawa 9th Dan. Aktar sensei says that his ambitions in martial arts training have been more than fulfilled, something which a very few other martial arts students & practitioners have been able to do, and what many aspire to achieve.
All his martial arts masters have influenced & shaped Aktar sensei's Karate for the better, many of these masters inspired & encouraged Aktar sensei to also study and practice natural medicine healing methods, alongside his martial arts practice. Thus Aktar sensei began to study Natural, Alternative, Complementary, healthcare, and healing alongside his Martial arts study over a period of some 30 years, and has been able to attain a highly qualified status as a registered practitioner of several natural modes of healthcare & healing such as: Chinese & Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture, Manual therapy, Homeopathy, Cupping and Exercise Rehabilitation at some of the world's leading healthcare institutions, which he continues to practise up till the present day to benefit society positively.
Many of Aktar's martial arts masters have sadly passed away, but he continues to get inspiration from their teachings in their way every day, desiring to impart his understanding of martial arts to the up and coming dedicated students who wish to learn the traditional martial arts, in order to improve their physical and mental self-development and life skills, so that these positive skills don't get forgotten. He is continuously researching the training methods, philosophies and strategies of his former masters and forms his own teaching way by simplifying their teachings & concepts of all of those great martial arts masters. His learning experience of different martial arts enables him to add some precious gems of knowledge, skills and techniques for his students.
Many of his younger competitive students have gone on to win final placings at national JKA karate championships over many years.
His former students in the community have included people from all walks of life, Students ,Medical students, Councillors,Military & Security personnel, Religious leaders, & many others, many of whom have gone onto becoming prominent leaders in society.
Aktar sensei is a dedicated, inspiring karateka, still continually practising everyday to optimal perfection, considering himself a student of martial arts on a journey of a lifetime. At the same time he is passionate in passing on his knowledge and skills to serious dedicated students & karateka interested in taking their traditional karate beyond their limits,in order to make them the best that they can aspire to become.He feels this is his positive human contribution to the community & his committed service especially to young people in order to shape up their lives positively in society.