Kickboxing training in Brighton, Lewes and Seaford.

About Dave

Dave's journey in Martial Arts

David Russell was born in 1960 in the East End of London. He grew up in Hackney & Hoxton. He was put into local authority care in 1966, & spent the rest of his childhood there until leaving in 1974 aged 14 to start training as an apprentice decorator. It was during this period of 1966 that his introduction to martial arts began.


Whilst in London's West End one Saturday, I saw the Head Master's two sons in a fight with a gang of youths, while heavily outnumbered the older brother fled so I joined in to help the younger brother who was a few years my senior.

On my return to the kids home after receiving a severe thumping from the gang, my Head Master ordered me into his office. Trembling with fear (we were beaten with canes & belts if we were caught fighting), I was asked why I interfered. After explaining it was unfair they were outnumbered, I was ordered to be at the office at 5pm the next day.

Being driven with the two sons & my head master almost in silence we ended up in a smelly old hall in Muswell Hill. This memorable day was the start of my martial arts adventure. Standing opposite a lad slightly older & a lot larger than myself there was a shout & suddenly I was punched in the face so hard I ended up on my back side crying with a bloody nose, this was my introduction to the art of Shotokan Karate.

I later learned our instructor was a living legend the great Master Kanazawa. From this point on I spent every spare moment going to any martial art clubs that I could find , this was irrespective of style or origin, As well as spending time with the great Master Enoeda. I also started boxing in 1967, finding the moves much more fluid & easier to pick up than the rigid stances of karate.

Around this time a friend told me of this amazing Japanese guy this was Master Tatsuo Suzuki & Mr Shiomitsu, the art was Wado-Ryu Karate. During the early 70's I started training in several "gung fu" styles & Chinese boxing some instructors I remember were Jeremy Yau, Lau Gar, I also started training in the Si-lum Chinese style becoming like a sponge; soaking up as much information as I could, sometimes travelling over a hundred miles to practice where ever I could. While my friends were out having fun I was in a hall some where training, this was every day of the week.

In the late 70's I was training in kick boxing and Thai boxing under Master Toddy & Master Lek. I also started Tang Soo Do under the Great Master Kang Uk Lee and also began Pak Mei kung fu under the instruction of Sifu Tang. This was a great honour as up until then the master taught only Chinese students in London's China town and so it was a great privilege to be accepted to train with such a great inspiration.

Travelling around I have spent years abroad training in Singapore, Thailand, China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Korea to name but a few & I believe there is no ultimate art and that a mixture that fits like a jigsaw puzzle, but is fluid like water, always changing to suit the circumstances, shape, size and ability of the practitioner, is the nearest thing to perfection that we can hope to achieve.

I solemnly believe in today's modern world, many wonderful styles & systems are diluted for a quick profit, fast promotion and "black belt" often seems a meaningless term to the heroes I knew & remember from my early training days,

REMEMBER, to make tea you must have tea in a cup you add water & allow time to brew, just as a great wine starts of as a mere pile of grapes & after years they mature, so must basics mature. Gradually, given time and not rushed, time creates greatness but greatness does not create time.

Dave Russell - RKB Martial Arts