Mick began karate training at the Portsmouth Karate Club in 1967; training at that time was very primitive and mostly led by two yellow belts, a guy by the name of Phil Elliott and another by the name of Tony O’Carroll. In around 1970/71, Phil was to become the first member of the Portsmouth Club to gain black belt but Tony, a former member of the SAS regiment emigrated to Australia, he later returned but had ‘itchy feet’ and went back not too long after. On the Sunday of each weekend Ray Fuller who was a black belt from Sensei Enoeda’s club Blackfriars in South London would travel to Portsmouth in order to teach us.
In May 1972, Mick too gained his black belt awarded by his instructor, the late Keinosuke Enoeda Sensei during the KUGB Summer Training Course at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, South London.
During 1974 karate became very popular due to the Bruce Lee Kung Fu film ‘Fists of Fury’ Mick at that time was teaching karate within the Portsmouth City Council Further Education Scheme. The class was oversubscribed and unable to cope with the amount of people who wanted to take up karate, so he redirected them to the Portsmouth Karate Club. He then invited Phil Elliott to join him in partnership and to open a second club with the notion of teaching karate on a professional basis. In June 1974 they travelled along the coast to Brighton and opened the Brighton Shotokan Karate Club at the Brighton Sports and Social Club in the town centre (now an ice rink).
The two instructed at both clubs for several years and also ran the Portsmouth Polytechnic (now Portsmouth University) and Carisbrooke Karate Club (now Newport KC) on the Isle of Wight. In 1979 Phil Elliott became a Jehovah Witness and retired from Karate. Mick continued spreading the word of Shotokan Karate and also began running the club at Fleming Park Eastleigh who were in need of an instructor. At that time Mick was also responsible for drawing up a teaching roster for other clubs in the area Selsey, Worthing, Portsmouth Juniors etc. the Polytechnic where instructors were pooled from the main Portsmouth Club. It was physically impossible for Mick to be at these clubs constantly and both Brighton and Carisbrooke clubs were put into the hands of their respective senior members overseen by Mick, allowing him to concentrate on the Portsmouth and Eastleigh clubs.
From 1973 – 1979 Mick gained success in many Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) National and Regional championships. He was a member of the KUGB National Team for five years travelling with the team to Tokyo in 1977 for the World Championships at the Budokan at which GB came third. He was a member of the Gold Medal winning team at the European Championships in Brussels 1980. Team members at that time included famous names of the day including Bob Poynton, Terry O’Neill, Billy Higgins, Bob Rhodes, Dave Hazard, Steve Cattle, Jimmy O’Grady, Jimmy Brennan and his young brother Frank. Mick was also a member of the British Karate Control Commission all styles team 1975 – 1979 under the management of Steve Arniell (Kykoshinkia).
In 1982 Mick left the KUGB and having started and was teaching in over a dozen clubs he decided to form SEKU. From day one he has been Chairman/Chief Instructor to the South of England Karate Union SEKU (since renamed the Shotokan of England Karate Union). Since its inauguration as well as its traditional base Mick has led the association to many championship wins both at home and abroad with countries visited including Slovakia, Holland, Italy, Brazil, Gibraltar, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. He has also taught in all of these countries. As well as training at the infamous Japan Karate Association (JKA) headquarters in Tokyo, Mick has trained in France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Russia. He trained extensively from 1979 till 1996 throughout Europe with the International Okinawa Goju Ryu Federation (IOGKF) under the tuition of Master Morio Higaonna. He also trained with all first generation JKA Instructors under the guiding eye of its chief Instructor Master Masatoshi Nakayama.
As well as his prolific activities in Karate training/competition and instructing, Mick has quite a record in administration serving on governing bodies. He was a member of the English Karate Governing Body (EKGB) National Executive Committee from 1994 – 2002 and from 1998 – 2002 doubled up as chairman to its Technical Committee.
Mick’s student Stacey Crowe 6th dan teaches the bulk of training sessions at the Portsmouth club now but Mick is usually not that far away teaching regularly on a Thursday unless he is away teaching courses or taking grading examinations.