WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Brian Jacks was on Blue Peter and I got signed up to start Judo at Sale Judo Club in Manchester (there was a waiting list at that time). I was 9 years old, I lined up with the other beginners to have our finger and toe nails inspected. A Japanese man walked down the line checking that nails were short and clean, if not you got a whack on the hands with his old flip flop. Everyone got a whack, my nails were clean, but he smiled and whacked my hands anyway. That was Akinori Hosaka, then 5th Dan Kodokan Judo. (He believed in equality and Tony Benn was his political hero).