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Sensei Chris Webb - 4th Dan

Sensei Chris Webb, 4th Dan

I began my martial arts journey in 1990 at the age of five; training regularly in the style of Ryobu Kai Karate under Sensei Yamasaki 7th Dan. At the Grove club I trained alongside my father Ivan Webb and grandfather Peter Lord, both Ryobu Kai black belts. As a junior I also trained at club level in Judo for 4 years under Sensei Simon Goddard.

I have been fortunate to experience several styles of Karate before finding Goju Ryu which is the style I currently practice. I feel privileged that I have had a family run club to train at; this has given me the opportunity to attend several classes a day six times a week! Our previous clubs spanned Wantage, Grove, Faringdon, Abingdon, Marlborough and Oxford. I achieved my 1st Dan black belt in Goju Ryu in 1999.

In 2003 I left school and joined the British Army, serving with the Royal Engineers for seventeen years. I have served on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, conducted numerous overseas training exercises and gained a raft of military instructional qualifications. My final posting was as a Platoon Sergeant in an Army Training Regiment delivering phase one basic training to Army recruits and mentoring military instructors.

My father, grandfather and I established Grove Martial Arts in 2008 for the purpose of training and delivering instruction in practical Karate that is accessible to all.

I left the Army in 2020 to teach Karate full time and be with my family. I am passionate about Karate as the self-defence system it was originally designed to be. My teaching philosophy is to learn through play in a supportive and friendly environment where mistakes are encouraged and the training is tailored to the individual. I believe my experiences in the Army have given me a unique perspective on awareness, fear and self-defence in very high stress situations.

I am looking forward to developing our instructor team using my Coaching and Mentoring qualifications.

Sempai Danny West - 2nd Dan

Danny West photo

When I was younger I loved Japan, China and Asian culture, so decided to explore a form of martial arts. In 2008 a friend had recently started training with Grove Martial Arts so introduced me to the club - this was the start of a fantastic experience!

When I first started training I was very shy, quiet and wouldn`t really do anything that put me out of my comfort zone - but now I`m far more outgoing and will try new things that I would never have considered before. After 5 years of good, hard and fun training, I achieved 1st dan Black Belt in Goju Ryu on 12th December 2013. I was graded by my club instructors along with Sensei Iain Abernethy 7th Dan. In February 2019 I graded to 2nd Dan and will be looking to grade again at the end of 2022 to ensure my own development continues, as well as the development of the students.

Sempai Chris Mort - 2nd Dan - Assistant Instructor at GMA

Chris Mort photo

Living back home in Wales, I joined my 1st Karate club (Wado Ryu) when I was about 9 years old, but unfortunately only ended up training for a short period of time. Then, in 1987, I moved with my family to Oxford, and was filled once again with thoughts of returning to training.

By 1988 I was training in ITF Taekwon-Do in Botley, Oxford under Tony Hampson, 3rd Dan, where I trained for 3.5 years, reaching the grade of 4th Kup. Due to travel time, family, costs and a growing disillusion with `Sport Martial Arts` my time under Mr Hampson came to an end in 1991. Between 1992 and 2009 I trained in a few different styles, including Boxing, Lau Gar Kung Fu and Muay Thai, bouncing from club to club, but I never really felt `at Home` at any of them.

2010 saw some major life changing events for me, firstly, my wife falling pregnant with our first child, and secondly, walking through the doors of the Old Mill Hall, to begin my journey with Grove Martial Arts. Fast forward some 12 years later, and I now not only hold a rank of 2nd Dan within the club, grading in 2019 under Sensei Chris Webb and Sensei Iain Abernethy, but I also have the honour of being an Instructor at both our Grove and Didcot locations.

Sempai Ed Glenn - 2nd Dan - Assistant Instructor

Ed Glenn photo

Originally from the East Midlands I started my martial arts journey in my teens with Wah Lum Kung Fu based in Melton Mowbray; a great introduction to the world of eastern martial arts.

During my late teens and 20`s the focus of my spare time was based heavily on metal music and drumming, but in 2012 I felt a strong need to start training a martial art again. Keen to find a practical martial art fit for self defence, and after extended research, I joined Grove Martial Arts in January of 2013.

I achieved Black belt (1st Dan) in the summer of 2018 and 2nd Dan in December 2020. I got my assistant instructor certification in August 2020 and have been teaching since then. I am working hard to continually develop my karate both inside and outside the dojo.

My son started with GMA juniors in May 2021 aged 5. Here`s to the next generation!

Andy Watson - 2nd Dan - Assistant Instructor

Andy Watson photo

I Lived in Cramlington (Newcastle) till I was 7 and moved to Wantage in 1979. I started training karate in 1989 in Grove with a Ryobu Kia club because I liked the look of it. I was bullied a bit at school and felt it would be amazing to be able to defend myself using those skills.

I achieved my black belt in 1994 under Sensei Yamasaki. My most memorable moment from that time was going to America (Anaheim LA) to compete in a tournament for Ryobu Kia, with clubs from all over the world.

I started training with Grove Martial Arts 4 years ago. I graded to 2nd Dan in August 2021. In the future I`d love to see myself as a senior instructor and 3rd Dan is what I`ve set my sights on as my next achievement.

The advice I would give to students is to respect others, concentrate, persist in your training and dig deep as it will pay off in the long run.

James Beetham - 1st Dan

James Beetham photo

I started my martial arts journey in 1996, training Shotokan karate at a club in Wantage.

I graded to 5th Kyu Purple belt, before I lost enthusiasm for it and left in 1997. After that I didn`t look for another club until 2012.

I worked with Daniel West, he told me about Grove Martial Arts, which he was a part of, what they did, and that I should go to their "bring-a-mate" night with him. I turned up to give it a go and I`ve been training ever since.

I became an assistant Instructor in 2016, helping in the juniors classes mostly.

In October 2019 I graded to 1st Dan, and I`m looking to grade to 2nd Dan in the near future.

Richard Swift - 2nd kyu Junior Assistant Instructor

Richard Swift photo

Details coming soon...