Instructors

Sensei Paul O’Connor (3rd Dan)

Senior Instructor Paul O’Connor was introduced to Martial Arts at the tender age of eight, practising Judo for four years and attaining 5th Kyu, green belt. When he was 16, he began training in Shotokan Karate, along with Aiki-Jitsu, Traditional Japanese weapons and Kick-Boxing. He spent several years studying Japanese Ju-Jitsu and Military Combat Training and opened up several schools in the local area, including, Frogmore, Sandhurst, Edgbarrow, Birch Hill and Hawley Lane. There we are also clubs in Woodley and Reading.

Paul also organised demonstrations at school and village fetes, all proceeds going to charity, along with seminars and board and tile breaking and live combat demos. Paul holds a Third degree Black Belt in Freestyle Tai-Jutsu, a Second  Dan in Wado-Ryu Karate, a Second Dan in Japanese Ju-Jitsu and a First Dan in Kick-Boxing.

Sensei Sayban Delikhan (1st  Dan)

Saban is a highly experienced instructor who began his career in Traditional Wado-Ryu Karate in the 1980s. Although Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Traditional Karate commented, “There are no contests in karate”, following the second world war, the Martial Art soon became the movement we know today and Sayban spent several years involved in Sport Karate.

He also has vast experience of Ninjitsu, often used in Military Combat and Traditional and Modern-day weapons, along with extensive knowledge of Pilsung-Do Korean Style Tae-Kwon-Do. Saban also trained extensively in MMA and fortunately re-joined the Freestyle Academy four years ago.

 

Sempai Scott Shearer (3rd Kyu)

Scott began his career in Hi-Impact Kickboxing in 2000 and went on to study Krav_Maga and Ju-Jitsu. In 2009, Scott travelled to Brazil to train in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, Muay Thai and Small Circle Ju-Jitsu. On his return to the UK in 2014, he joined forces with Senior Instructor Paul O’Connor and has now become a regular contributor to the Freestyle Martial Arts Academy training sessions.

Scott is highly competent at structuring hi-intensity work-outs using partnerships with Seme and Uke, so both students benefit and learn from the experience and are very encouraging in his delivery. He is particularly skilled in high kicks due to his extensive flexibility.

 

Sensei Pauline Fyfe-Neeley (3rd  Dan)

Pauline has been practising Martial Arts for over thirty years and was awarded her 3rd Dan in Kyokushin Karate, Japanese for Ultimate Truth. Kyokushin is a style of full-contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama. Pauline joined The Freestyle Academy three years ago and is very popular with the younger members teaching a blend of Kyokushin and Wado-Ryu Karate and Kata forms.

Sensei Wendy Fyfe (1st  Dan)

Like her mother, Pauline, Wendy studied Kyokushin Karate for 32 years and joined the Freestyle Academy about the same time. Wendy is mainly involved teaching the younger members or Hou-Hai, Kyokushin and Wado-Ryu Karate Wado-Ryu Karate and Kata Forms and is highly competent in Freestyle Kumite and is particularly skilled in high kicks due to her extensive flexibility. Wendy also has experience of Traditional Japanese Weapons.

Sensei Rod Gould (1st Dan)

Rod holds a 1st Dan 1st Degree Black belt in ITF Taekwondo having trained under Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha 9th Dan founder of the UKTA and personal student to the founder Grand Master General Choi Hong Hi. Rod switched to Zen Kyo Shin Ryu Ai Ki Jitsu in 1993 and trained under Chris Biffen 8th Dan for many years studying the Kyusho Jitsu pressure point system and ancient Chinese acupressure meridians. A further year of training in Takemuzu Aikido with Sensei Chris Tozer saw Rod develop his skills in blending, locking and throwing techniques. Rod also studied Tai Chi at work under John Dyke of the White Dragon Tai Chi society.

 

Column

Sempai Karl Hatherwood (3rd Kyu)

Karl studied Traditional Shotokan Karate and Judo as a youngster before embarking on a career in the Army, spending five years in the infantry with The Devon and Dorset Regiment. With several tours of Iraq and Kosovo under his belt, he went on to join The Royal Logistics Corps. Karl enjoyed success in the inter-company boxing division at Welterweight, unarmed Military combat and gained prowess with the British Army Shooting Team.