You will find below the speech I intended for this event, needless to say it was not actually what I said.
Dear Friends and IBF Guests
This is a very special occasion where we gather together to recognise the efforts put into the IBF by some of its special members. Most of you will know each other if you do not by the end of the evening I expect you will.
This Awards night is a unique night, the awards will not become an annual event, it may happen again in maybe another 10 years time when there are sufficient people to honour again, hopefully when that day comes most of you will be here and I will be able to present you with an award again. To make this a special event I have had produced some special certificates 50 and some special Pin badges only the recipients of this award will be entitled to both these objects. Even those I have left over will be only available to those who receive the award.
You can not talk about the IBF without mentioning my Father Nobby Clarke 6th who died in 1990, he was one of the original founders of the IBF Internationally the actual Founder was Peter Schonewille 10th Dan from Holland. IBF UK was started about 1967 and since then it has seen many changes what started of as just a Judo organisation now covers all aspects of Martial Arts. Things have changed since those days we now have many affiliated organisations under our IBF Banner 3 of those will be honoured today. In its hey day in the mid 70’s the IBF boasted 7000 members in the UK sadly that is not the case now, but our motto has always been QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.
If Nobby had been alive today he would have enjoyed today’s event but one thing he would not have liked is putting on a TIE and not being allowed to have a roll up. My father saw National Service and often told me that Judo (later the IBF) was the only thing he new that had the camaraderie of the Army, the Founder of Judo “Jigaro Kano” did say that his Judo was more then just a sport/Martial but a way of personal and cultural attainment i.e. a way of life, camaraderie . I have always instilled that philosophy in all what we do in the IBF that what makes us so different to all the other Martial Associations. The IBF to me is my extended family, to those who know me realise how much I believe in Family.
I have run nearly everything possible in the Martial Arts World, courses, clubs, competitions etc etc but this was my first Black tie event no problem I thought, that was until I had to sort out the table placing and the order of the awards. So can I tell you, all those of you who are about to receive awards are equal in my eyes? Each of you has your own unique abilities.
So to start:
My Mother Mrs Margret Clarke must take the very first award for it was her support that started my father in the Martial Arts. She was also the 1st women Black Belt in Kent, the first women to teach Judo professionally, she also received the The Sports for All Award from the Sports Council.
Valerie Clarke a Black Belt in several Martial Arts and my wife that in its own right is worth an award.
Trevor Waghorn 3rd Dan our top referee and in his day a fair competitor and what a lot of people do not know that he has been training with the Clarke Family longer then any one else he got his green belt in 1966 when I got my Blue Belt.
Mike Dunn 1st Dan another referee whom has given up his time to help out. Mike himself was quite a good fighter and was made to go through he mill when he took his Dan grade at Summer Camp.
Alan Kontozi 4th Dan He has done most things in the Judo world refereed, competed, coached and still has the occasional bash on a Thursday night. He also is the only International Standard Sombo referee in the country.
Brian Mead 2nd Dan
A lot of you may not have met Brian he runs a Karate Club in Essex. Brian started Karate late in life yet still reached 2nd Dan he has been with us many years another IBF man to get his Black Belt at Summer Camp
Brian Ware 1st Kyu
Brian is the only Award recipient who is not a Black Belt; he has been of exceptional help to our Karate club in Swale and an excellent assistant to Paul Sergeant. He has sacrificed his own grading to help others.
Martyn Skipper 3rd Dan
Although not active with IBF at present he has been invaluable member in the past as competitor, coach, club leader, he is the only Karate man to be allowed to join the Guild of Sports Internationalist and was a former Chairman of the Academy of Coaching. He started with the IBF at Summer Camp
John Clarke 3rd Dan
John although my son is one of the best and most skilful Judoka’s the IBF has had, not the most successful but still a credit to his family and association.
The IBF has always had some very successful female Judoka, one of the pluckiest fighters has been Marcella O’Hare. She started Judo with me at the age of 13 was awarded her Black belt at Summer Camp and traveled the length of the UK and Europe competing no competitor was to big for our Marcella.
Peter Wise 2nd Dan
Peter is proof that age is no hindrance when it comes to having a good old scrap. When some young people consider themselves to old at 30 Peter still plods on.
Colin Carrott 2nd Dan
Colin is another one who started late got his Black belt at Summer Camp and then got the bug for competitions, Judo, Sombo, CombatSombo, Kurash if Colin can have a fight he will do
Ken Cassell 2nd Dan
Another one who keeps battling on, Ken has run a club, is a qualified Coach, been a competitor and a referee. There is not many Thursday nights you do not see Ken battling out with the young one not bad for 50 plus another Black Belt from Summer Camp
Keith Costa 2nd Dan
Keith a Summer Camp black belt runs the very successful Young Judo Club but his main contribution to the IBF is his ability to run IBF tournaments, He is without a doubt the best Competition Controller the IBF has ever had and I might add a very skilful Judo Player
Tony Senner 1st Dan
Qualified Coach A class referee, YJC Instructor and a man with a very dry sense of humour what more could you want form an IBF Budoka
Derek Base 1st Dan
Derek is another one who won his Dan grade at Summer Camp, a very busy man he has always found time for his Judo a qualified Coach he is one of the Senior Coaches who run Faversham Judo Club one of the most successful Judo Clubs in the IBF
John Harris and Tony Brenchley
I have deliberately called these up together because there has been one of the most successful partnership in organising Junior Summer Camp, I cannot remember how many years the pair taught at the Bay, it was rumoured that John was not born but appeared out of a Romney Marsh Dyke ( I mean the one you find in a field well you know what I mean). John before the night has finished please tell people about the French Fighter Pilot
Brian Woodhall 3rd Dan
When there’s a competition, course Brian is there win draw or lose he tries his very best.
Brian is one of our most senior members he started Judo with my Father Nobby and kept the YJC Bexley going when he died. Brian has done most things in Judo but the thing he impressed me most was when he went for 2nd or 3rd Dan at Summer Camp keeping up with people some 30 years his junior.
Greg Garside 2nd Dan
Greg has been Brian Deputy for man year in Bexley he now runs his own club in Bromley, Greg has been on the scene a long time and can be seen at most tournaments organising the Timekeepers and recorders, a very reliable Dan grade.
Margret Smith 1st Dan
Margret a student of Brian’s also came to Judo at a later stage then most and even though everyone said you will never make Black Belt she did. A long with Keith Costa, Greg Garside she invaluable in helping us run tournaments she also teaches at Bromley.
Professor Richard Bailey
I have not use the word Professor lightly; Richard is a highly quailed University lecturer, yet he has never forgotten his friendship with the IBF. An excellent competitor he started Karate at Sittingbourne in his teens. Rather then stand back and pontificate about the Martial Arts (he can do that as well) he still has a go, this was the case when participated in the Summer Camp. Richard has been invaluable in his support for the IBF Coaching award scheme.
As you all know we now have may affiliate associations within the IBF and the most successful of those is the Tang Lung Combat Academy run by George Fitzgerald a black belt of many martial arts.
Robin Hyslop has been with the IBF for 20 years now and runs the very successful IBF Scotland. Robin also has Black belts in many martial arts.
IBF N Ireland is another success story started by serving Police Officer Chris St John, it has now become the premier Budo organization in N Ireland. Chris is our leading authority in the field of Martial Arts weapons.
Jim Andrews, Lawrence McCormick, Ben Tate all from N Ireland all have Black Belts in several Martial Arts. These lads along with their Coach Chris put the rest of us to shame they travel to the UK many times a to train Budoka on the mainland have a job traveling a few miles.
The first Judoka I ever trained to Black Belt was back in 1972; two of those are still with the IBF and me now. They are the highest grades in the IBF apart from myself, they need no introduction they are Dave Boulding 6th Dan and Trevor Davies 6th Dan.