Assistant Youth & Junior Kata Coach
Sensei James Scanlon, 3rd Dan
I first joined my local Karate club at the age of six years old back in 2002 with Ady Gray at Byakko Shotokan Karate Association. I graded for my first dan black belt on the 2nd of June 2007 under Sensei Dave Hazard.
At a mainly traditional karate club we always competed in both Kata and Kumite and saw regular training sessions with Sensei Dave Hazard and Sensei Wayne Otto. As a younger student my passion was always in Kata competing in both individual and team, at regional, national and international competitions. This saw me achieve a huge haul of medals and trophies in all categories, including multiple titles and wins at the EKF National Championships in both individual Kata, and Team Kata. A few fighting medals where achieved at this level also. Success didn’t stop there; I also achieved multiple titles and wins at the British 4 Nations and the British International Championships.
As soon as I was old enough I started to attend EKF National Kata training with Sensei Jonathan Mottram. From that point on I was determined to represent my country in something I loved. The day I got selected for National Kata ‘A’ Squad saw a very happy karate student, which then lead to me being picked to represent England in Team Kata at the 2013 Junior European Championships in Konya.
Coaching life for me started pretty much the same way as it does for most coaches. I took the occasional warm up to start with which then lead to me teaching a specific group of students in a class. Once I became confident i would then cover classes in which my instructor couldn't attend. Eventually I started to assist my instructor during a competition training class in which I would then teach the full length. Then on the 19th May 2012 I successfully passed my senior 2nd Dan grading with Sensei Dave Hazard.
During high school I could never decide what I wanted to do when I was older. It was then suggested by more sports teacher to teach karate in primary schools due to a new government scheme to get kids active. As I was only 17 at the time, I decided to ask for help from my instructor. We decided to do it together and set up 5 schools. A couple of days before it started, my instructor called to say he could no longer do it so I decided to ‘ take the bull by the horns’ and do the schools myself! A scary thought for a 17 year old who had only taught a couple of sessions. However a few weeks down the line i wondered why I was scared in the first place, with all schools running successfully.
A few months passed, and i decided to leave the club and go my own way. This started me at square one. At this point due to my love for karate and the EKF I joined the Taisho Do Association as they were the closest club to me run by one of the kindest instructors I've ever met, Mark Raistrick. As i was only young I decided to gain some further Knowledge and successfully completed a teaching course. ‘Preparing to teach in the life long learning sector, Level 2’. I passed this with flyer colours.
As I was keen to coach I slowly started to open up dojos around the local area.
I created my club ‘JS Karate Academy’. I also then started teaching in schools again and this lead to me having one of the fastest growing clubs in North Yorkshire. Within only 3 years my club has breached the 100 student mark. I have successfully coached students to medal at the English Championships and British Championships.
At the beginning of 2016, I joined ‘Karate Academy Associates’ run by Sensei Rob Bingham, with my great friend, Sensei Mike Carr. This went well with many association training sessions in which I taught classes in alongside a summer camp.
By the end of 2016 i had achieved my 3rd Dan under Sensei Jonathan Mottram in which I was extremely pleased. I had also been announced as the EKF National Assistant Youth Coach alongside Aimee Sell. What a fantastic end to 2016 this was!
Now In 2017 I run my own association ‘National Karate Association’ and I couldn't be happier with the people around me and the success of my coaching career. With each year i look to push the boundaries and do what most people told me I couldn't do.