"Karate is about continuous development, improvement, and learning. You should never stop striving to be better."
-sensei richard naylor-jones
Sensei Richard first started training in Karate in 1985 when at Thames Polytechnic in Woolwich. In early 1986 he moved to Chelmsford, to do his work placement with Marconi, and joined Chelmsford Karate Club under Sensei Charles Naylor.
In his first year with the KUGB he went on the Lancaster Course which he describes as “excellent and a real eye-opener”, regraded to a KUGB Yellow Belt, entered his first competition, came joint third in the National Students Championship, and won a Kata event at the Ipswich Championships.
The events of 1986 really fired his enthusiasm to study and develop his karate, laying the foundation for the years ahead.
Richard successfully passed his Black Belt under Sensei Enoeda in December 1988, over the years his level has continued to progress and he achieved his Sixth Dan in 2021.
Photo: Richard Naylor-Jones - September 1987- 2nd Kyu, Crystal Palace Training under Sensei Yahara
For 20 years, Richard competed regularly at both Regional and National level and was a member of the Welsh National Squad. He competed successfully in both Kata and Kumite events and his highlight was as a member of the Chelmsford team that won the Team Kata in the 1998 KUGB National Championships.
In a bid to gain more knowledge and increase his understanding of Karate, Richard has attended numerous residential courses over the years - Lancaster, Torbay & Crystal Palace, Special Dan Grade Courses, Instructor Courses and many Black/Brown Belt courses. This has presented him the opportunity to train under many great Karate masters.
Photo: Richard following his 1st Dan Blackbelt Grading on 3rd December 1988 at Montem Sports Centre Slough. (L-R) Sensei Charles Naylor, Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda and Richard Naylor-Jones
As a student of Sensei Charles Naylor, Richard had the opportunity to learn and develop his coaching skills. In 1989, he took responsibility for one of Sensei Naylor’s Dojo’s and would often teach at the main Chelmsford Dojo when Sensei Naylor was away traveling on KUGB duties. When time permitted he would often travel with Sensei Naylor to clubs around the country. As a result, Richard qualified as a National Instructor in 1996 under his guidance. Subsequently, in 2005, he was appointed a KUGB Assessor and continues to fulfill this role as a KUGB Senior Assessor.
In addition to his Instructor and Coaching responsibilities, Richard has also been a qualified National Referee since 1992.
Richard has been actively involved over the many years in the development of numerous students who have gone on to pass their Dan Grades, be successful at competition both at National and International level, based on high technical standards of Karate and etiquette.
Photo: Sensei Richard refereeing at the KUGB National Championships, 2018
In February 2015 Richard, along with his wife Jane, was appointed to the Karate Union of Great Britain's Executive Committee in the role of Publicity and Promotions Officer.
Then in March 2015 he was elected as the KUGB's Southern Region Secretary. Also in 2015, Richard was appointed as the Mental Charter Advocate for the English Karate Council (EKC). Then, in October 2015, Richard attended Parliament to speak about the benefits of Karate for Mental Health. In September 2016 he was appointed as the KUGB's Disability Officer by the Executive Committee. In May 2019 Richard was elected as the KUGB's Southern Region Chair.
On the International Stage Richard is the Assistant Publicity Officer for the European Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA) and the World Shotokan Karate Association (WSKA). He regularly attends their Championships which allows him to build also on his technical knowledge and understanding observing Karateka of the highest standard at close quarters.
Photo: (From left to right) Bob Massey, Stephanie Scott, Sensei Richard, and Julia Jeapes at our Time To Talk- Mental Health Awareness, 2018
On the 29th of May 2021 Richard graded to 6th Dan Black Belt alongside his wife Jane.