Martial Arts Shop Owner, Doug Swift does New Year interview

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Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: When, where and how did your martial arts journey begin?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

martial arts shop ownerI started practicing martial arts when I was seven. A few friends at my school did Karate and I liked the sound of it, so went along. It was in a local leisure centre in a sports hall. It was on Saturday mornings and I loved it. I remember it was Wadoryu Karate, but cannot remember the name of the club. It’s not the thing you really cared about as a kid. I tried a few times to search for it, but have never managed to find it. I assume the club doesn’t exist anymore. It was over 25 years ago.

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: What style have you spent the most time practicing, and why?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

Personally I don’t feel like I’ve spent a huge amount of time practicing any one martial art. I guess it was a soft style of Kung Fu I practiced in Bristol, which I did for about 7 years.

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: Which other Bristolian instructors have you trained with, and who has the biggest effect on you?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

In terms of long term practice I’ve trained in with Ian Purnell, a Ju Jitsu instructor, Peter Glenn, a Tai Chi and Kung Fu instructor, Neil Genge, Shaolin Kung Fu instructor. I also dabbled with a bit of Kickboxing with Lloyd Allen and Sean Veirra, Aikido at Templegate and Midsommer Norton.

It’s hard to think who had the biggest effect on me, they all had a positive influence in different ways. I was also training with them at different stages of my life.

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: Why a martial arts shop?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

When at Uni and training in Ju Jitsu, a martial arts shop was set up in Staple Hill. As soon as I heard about it I was up there as quickly as I could. I got on with the owner, Colin Fearis instantly and ended up spending a lot of my free time there, hanging about and chatting about Martial Arts. As I was finishing at Uni about 3 years later, Colin mentioned he would be finishing with the shop and was looking for someone to buy it. I jumped at the chance and decided to move the location to Cheltenham Road.

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: What are your main aims and goals for 2015?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

The website has always been an issue for the business and has never really done much. So that’s my focus for this year. My daughter is in school full time now so I finally have the time to work on it.

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: Has living in China affected how you see martial arts?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

To be honest, where we are in Shanghai, I haven’t actually seen a huge amount of martial arts. You see a lot of Tai Chi, but not much else. The only difference that I’ve seen is that people who do practice here seem to do it as a process to benefit from, rather than someone to learn and improve at. I know it’s a small difference and arguably no difference at all, but I think it’s an important one.

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: What was the biggest moment of your martial arts career?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

I think the biggest moment was probably getting into the final of the Ju Jitsu Nationals, at the time it felt easy. Just like a practice session that goes your way. No real effort at all. The other biggest moment was ruining my back in that Ju Jitsu final, that’s haunted me ever since

Phil @ Enso Martial Arts: If you could do another martial art that you haven’t done before, what would it be and why?

Doug – Martial Arts shop owner:

Due to my back being a bit dodgy now, I have to be careful. My surgeon and physio have said no more jumping, twisting, running and anything with impact. So that put’s out quite a lot of martial styles. It’s all about low impact. I have thought I might try a bit of Wing Chun, maybe some Tai Chi again, maybe might start training with some weapons just to keep my eye in. Rope Dart, Nunchaku. It’s just all about getting healthy now.