Having worked as a lorry driver before retirement, Richard was not used to strenuous physical activity. As he told the British newspaper the Daily Express, he found it very hard going at the start.
“I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. And it was hard because I was already 50,” he explained. “But I’m a stubborn old bugger and I’ve been going back ever since.”
It proved to be the start of a life-changing journey. Twenty-one years on, he has reached new heights in his discipline. But he has had to fight against the odds to do so.
Five years ago, Richard cracked a bone in his neck whilst performing Chongshin Do. As he was 66 years old at the time, it is perhaps little wonder that his doctor suggested he might want to spend his time doing something a little more relaxing. But Richard was having none of that. After making a full recovery, he was quickly back at his Chongshin Do club, working hard to achieve his goal.
And then last year, he travelled to the town of Woking, in the south of the UK, to try out for his second dan black belt. After a strict training session and assessment which lasted more than five hours, Richard was finally awarded his belt.