SENSEI MATTHEW SMITH 5TH DAN
Sensei Matt Smith started his martial arts journey at the age of 12 when he joined a local kickboxing club. This along with a brief spell at a Taekwondo club took him up to the point where he left school and started an apprenticeship in printing.
A number of guys at the factory where training at a Shotokan club, and after a while persuaded Matt to go and try it out. It became clear very quickly that this training was on another level to anything that he had experienced before, so Lovedean Karate Club under the instruction of Sensei Brian Smith, would become Matts home for the next 20 years.
Lovedean Karate Club was (and still is) affiliated to SEKU ( Shotokan of England Karate Union ). This platform gave Matt exposure to some truly world class Karateka who would influence and shape Matts karate both in competition, and in general training.
Over the years competing both as an individual, and as part of the fearsome SEKU squad, Matt managed to pick up several accolades. With a wide range of techniques at his disposal and a love of mixing it up, he was an exciting fighter to watch. After retiring from the comp circuit in 2011, in 2015 Matt was asked to join a team from the Isle of Wight that were a man down. Matt fought two fights, winning both by ippon. One last karate trophey for the collection.
It has always been important to Matt that he practiced what he preaches, and tested himself and his abilities under full contact conditions. Sensei's Simon Staples and Mike Lynch made this possible for him. Putting him both in the boxing ring, and the mma cage. These two instructors and great friends are huge influences on not only Matt, but all of the A.K.A instructors.
Matts journey has now led him down the path of BJJ and grappling training. He feels this adds another dimension to his karate training, and though still very much a beginner he relishes the new challenge.
As one of the founding members of the Applied Karate Association, Matt feels very privileged to be working along side four quality, passionate instructors and that moving forward we can build new strong alliances with our karate friends around the country and beyond.