John Hurley, 5th Dan
John started training under Sensei Andy Fellows (1st Dan) of Penge Higashi in South London in 1983 – 1987 where he achieved his brown belt 3rd Kyu. In addition to his Karate training, he was also training in Muay Thai under the instruction of Master Chris Price and Master Lorenzo Caballero (with the British Muay Thai Association, BMTA) as he thought it important to be conditioned against full contact kicks and punches. This also provided a different perspective to delivering kicks, punches and throws. He then moved to Luton. Unfortunately there were no Wado Ryu Karate clubs in the area so he joined a Shotokan Karate club where he trained for several years attaining his Black Belt. John decided that Shotokan wasn’t the style for him so decided to return to his roots of Wado Ryu and joined Hitchin Higashi under the instruction of Sensei Paul Carter (3rd Dan) and Sensei Wilbur Myrie (1st Dan) and went back in under his old grade of 3rd Kyu, In April 1993 he achieved his 1st Dan in north Wales under Sensei Peter Spanton (8th Dan).
In addition to the above training John was fortunate to have personal one on one training with Master Robert Simpson (6th Degree Black Sash full contact Shaolin Kung Fu, plus many other styles). Again, this added to his list of styles and techniques. In 1994 John opened up Luton Higashi Karate Kai, which has flourished and has produces both world and national champions. He has ensured the club has the values he has learned over the years of training with very successful martial artists as well as not repeating the mistakes of some of the less successful clubs he has seen. Luton HKK promotes, Family Values, Hard Fitness training, Discipline and Fun. All these are a must in any successful dojo.
John achieved his 4th Dan under Sensei Peter Spanton in North Wales in 2005. It is one of the most gruelling gradings Karate has to offer, lasting a week of 5 hours training a day outside in the elements, in which you have to show you have the capabilities to pass your grade before the full formal grading even begins. John was awarded his 5th Dan by Sensei Peter Spanton in 2014.
In 2007, John was introduced to Sensei Jo Biggs (7th Dan Ju Jutsu) and has been invited to teach over the last 4 years at the Lynmouth Martial Arts Festival. He feels it is a great honour to work and train with so many talented martial artist from around the world. At the Lymnouth Festival of martial arts in 2009, Sensei Hurley was honoured with an award for his pursuit of martial excellence. This is in recognition of his years of karate instruction as well as drive to bring different martial arts together and to learn from other masters.
Sensei Biggs, Master Simpson, Sensei Spanton and Sensei Collin Heath (former world Karate champion) all attend the Luton Dojo at least once a year and give the students a taster of their individual styles.
John has also used the experience he gained when doing Security at Pubs/Night Clubs to ensure that his teaching keeps everything simple and effective. Over the last two years John has been passing his martial art knowledge within schools for the local government doing breakfast club, lunch clubs and after school clubs assisting in the governments bid to combat obesity.
As part of his continuous development, John regularly attends Equity in Coaching, Child Protection and First Aid courses. He ensures that all the black belts teaching in his dojo have the Minimum Operating Standard (MOS) as part of the local government scheme and is also personal trainer.