I originally published this post on Derek English sensei five years ago which included an interview conducted by Mike Clark sensei (thank you wherever you are), but I am republishing it to include a wonderful new interview with him on the Invisible Sensei Podcast.
Derek English is a true power-house of Okinawa Budo – proficient in both Goju-ryu Karate-do and Ryukyu Kobudo. I first met Derek in Japan way back in 1995 at a conference we were both attending in Kumamoto prefecture, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I finally caught up with him on Okinawa and was able to train very briefly with him and his teacher Uehara Ko at the latter’s dojo in Naha.
Walking into Uehara sensei’s dojo was like walking into a science lab running an experiment. He had a bewildering array of unique training equipment that he made himself and was constantly researching and challenging the assumptions of his Goju-ryu training to push it further ahead.
When I met with Derek, I was lucky enough not only to train under him and Uehara sensei, but also had the opportunity to learn a little bit from Miyahira Tamotsu – a teacher of Baji, Taiji, and Chang Quan who would run a seminar once a week at Uehara sensei’s dojo. The whole training affair with these men left me tired, battered and bruised, but enlightened.
So, I am very happy to be able to present this two part interview with Derek thanks to the generosity of Mike Clarke sensei which was published in Blitz martial arts magazine. Part 1 is below and here’s part 2 of the interview. My apologies for the way its presented.