History of the Club
By Sensei Roger Vickerman
Bill Reddy (1st Kyu) and Peter Swinburn started a club back in 1985/6 at the Cardinal Wiseman school on a Tuesday and Thursday night with the parent club being based at Windley Leisure Ctr in Sutton Coldfield who were affiliated to the TERRA (Takamizawa-Sensei’s association). At the time I was teaching in Darlaston at the Comprehensive school. At one session in the late 1980’s I had two Brown Belts arrive asking to train, namely Fred (apologies can’t remember his surname) and Kerry Moore. After a few sessions their instructor Bill Reddy and a very young Karl Reddy joined. Bill was not happy with the parent club at Wndley and wanted align his club to my instruction. This put me in an awkward situation as Windley and my Darlaston Club were affiliated to Takamizawa-Sensei. A meeting was held where Sensei’s made the decision for me ‘look after’ Bill and his Club. I started to Visit Bills club and as a result Bill achieved Dan grade. During these early days at Bill’s club I met and became good friends with Mick Casserley. Mick and Kerry were a double act and were well known for drinking sessions and general mischief especially on weekend and Summer Courses … It was a regular occurrence for Toru-Sensei to ‘pull me to the side’ and blame me for their behaviour (after all I was their instructor … so Bill said!).
The club moved from Cardinal Wiseman to where we are now Kingstanding Leisure Centre. Toru-Sensei visited the club on a regular basis and after one of these courses I asked Sensei to give the club a Japanese name and with no hesitation he declared ‘Chubu’ … I thought he had said ‘Chubby’ which with great humour thought it was a reflection of my stature! Toru-Sensei soon clarified ‘Chubu’ which means Central i.e. Birmingham being central to England … There was still this ‘glint-in-his-eye’ which still leads me to believe he was playing on words, after all he had trained at University to be a linguist.
Karl Reddy was next to achieve Dan grade and in 1990/1 took over from Bill as club instructor. Bill did come back to instruct in 1997/8 as Karl moved to work and start his adult life in London. Bill retired to live in Spain with his wife Joyce.
Mick Casserley was next to Dan grade and although over the past few years has suffered with ill health has always been a friend and an active member of the club with sponsorship.
When Takamizawa-Sensei died my interest in the club waned and I wasn’t enjoying my Karate and the club took a down turn. One of the students, Frank Burn took over as club secretary and started to teach for the first hour with myself occasionally teaching the second hour. Without Franks intervention the club would have folded so am grateful for his efforts over those dark months.
After the ‘political wrangling died down’ and some ‘Soul searching’ I decide that the only one that could change this situation was myself.
Shiomitsu-Sensei has been a great influence within the Wado world changing our previous misconceptions about Wado, martial arts and life. This has given me a new avenue to venture and find something new around each corner.
Frank Burns although suffering with health problems graded to first Dan … Frank made a brave decision to move his family from Birmingham to live on the South Coast ‘for a better life style’ … Good luck Frank and thank you for your strength and belief in the club when I didn’t.
Chubu has turned a new page in it’s history with Linda taking over as club secretary with assistance from her son Ben. In fact you wouldn’t be reading this if Ben hadn’t started this site for the club.
Cheers Ben ……