Spotlight: Aidan Trimble – Marrying Sport and Tradition

Aidan Trimble is one of those special martial artists who has managed to navigate the path between having a successful tournament career and also remaining true to the traditions of Karate. A talented fighter, once listed as one of the top ten greatest fighters, he has won numerous honors. As head of The Federation of Shotokan Karate he has carried on the strong traditions found in Karate.

Aidan Trimble was born on 30 December 1960, in Nottingham, England. His journey into the Karate world started in 1972 when aged eleven he began training at a local scout hut. His teacher was a brown belt student of Karate masters Hirokazu Kanazawa and Shiro Asano. At the time one had to be eighteen to train at a legitimate Karate dojo.. He eventually ended up training with Brian Collins, a Dan grade of Shiro Asano.

Once Trimble was old enough (although he may have lied about his age) he was allowed to train at Shiro Asano’s dojo. Asano, who was a graduate of the famed Takushoku University, was known for his strong fighting spirit. On a weekly basis he would have sparring sessions against all his students.

Trimble was big for his age and was able to hold his own against senior grades. He would spar against Asano who appreciated the fighting spirit he showed.

In 1977 Trimble took and passed his 1st Dan, grading under Asano and the the Shotokan Karate-Do international (SKI) association.

Trimble always liked the competitive aspect of Karate and it soon became the main focus of his training. His talents were soon recognized by a call-up to the British Karate squad in 1978, aged only seventeen. He was part of the British Team that won the SKI European Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany. This was the beginning of a very successful competitive career culminating with him becoming World SKI Kumite Champion in 1983 at the first SKIF World Championships held in Japan. His tournament success led to him becoming a member of the British All Styles Karate squad under Ticky Donovan.

Trimble’s competitive honours include:

  • 3 time British Team Champion
  • 4 time Asano Shield Team Champion
  • 3 time SKI Team Kata Champion
  • 2 time European Team Champion
  • British All Students Individual Kumite Champion
  • World SKI Kumite Champion
  • 3 time SKI British Individual Kumite Champion
  • 2 time SKI British Individual Kata Champion
  • 2 time England All Styles Kata Champion

Trimble’s competitive career came to a premature end in 1983 following surgery to an injured shoulder. He however did try to compete from time to time.

In 1984 Trimble became a professional Karate instructor teaching around the world. He did some work as a professional body guard. He also ventured into the world of acting, appearing in several film and televison roles.

After a long association with SKI Trimble parted company with the organisation in 1986 to form his own association, The Federation of Shotokan Karate (FSK). He became the associations Chairman and Chief Instructor. The headquarters of the association is located in a purpose build dojo in Nottingham, England.

Over the years several of Trimble’s students have gone on to win competitive titles at world level. In 1990 he took a twenty strong FSK squad to Las Vegas to compete in the 10th Annual Traditional Karate Tournament (renamed the Ozawa Cup in honor of its founder). The tournament is one of America’s biggest and most prestigious tournaments having been started by Shotokan master, Osamu Ozawa in 1981 to promote the opening of his new Karate dojo in Las Vegas. Trimble entered male and female teams in the individual and team kata and kumite events. 1500 competitors took part in a high quality tournament, with the FSK men’s kumite team finishing in third place. The FSK squad still travels to compete at the tournament.

Trimble remains much in demand as a course and seminar instructor. He has given a seminar at the Ozawa Cup Master’s Seminar. He also runs a Master Class course with his close friend and fellow instructor Dave Hazard.

Trimble has also authored a number of books on his own and with Dave Hazard and also with Vince Morris.

Aidan Trimble is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best kumite fighters ever to come from Britain. His strong traditional Karate roots have been transferred into a successful coaching career. The following video provides a glimpse of this very successful martial artist inaction:

Author: Patrick Donkor

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