This is the second in the series of the ‘JNZ Instructor Profiles’ and highlights Andrew Paxton-sensei, originally from Scotland.
Andrew commenced his karate training in 1983 with the (Scottish) Borders Shotokan karate clubs, an affiliate of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) under George Milburn-sensei and his cousin Jim Paxton-sensei.
He trained with George until 1986 when he moved south, over the border and continued for a further 5 years in a Shotokan/Goju-ryu blend of karate. After moving again , Andrew rejoined with KUGB and was graded to sho-dan under Andy Sherry-sensei in 1999. He then moved to New Zealand in 2001 and dabbled with a couple of local dojos which he felt didn’t quite fit and therefore continued to train himself in his garage. In 2008 he started an independent dojo in Wakefield concentrating on the Goju-ryu aspects that he had learned previously in the UK.
Andrew enjoys the family feel of JNZ where there are no pretensions, delusions of grandeur or over inflated egos. “We genuinely do train as brothers and sisters in karate”.
Over the past 34 years Andrew remembers many experiences noting having trained with KUGB legends. His first grading under Bob Poyntin-sensei, "his attention to detail and mastery of his own body are second to none and have been my yardstick ever since. Billy Higgins-sensei was a scrapper, his self-defence combinations always seemed to include a head butt in there somewhere. Bob Rhodes-sensei is the epitome of what can be gained from hard training. Frank Brennan-sensei was amazing, I remember him demonstrating a front leg mawashi geri on me. I felt his foot land softly on the side of my head but he was so fast that I didn’t see him move. Andy Sherry-sensei, fast, sharp, tough and uncompromising. I’ve also had the pleasure of training with Enoeda-sensei and Kase-ensei, both great men".
"My own teaching style is very relaxed but demanding, it’s not the first time I have overheard someone saying, 'I like training with Andrew, he makes me do it right'. However, my aim is to get you to make yourself do it right”.