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A tribute to Steve Cattle From Sensei Syd Fletcher

I first met Sensei Steve Cattle in August 1991 at Sensei Ken Lawn’s club in Bradford. This was the second club to join Sensei Cattle’s newly formed ESA.

I was graded to Orange Belt by Steve in October that year, and all subsequent gradings and when I progressed to Yellow Belt I started to train regularly with him, twice a week.

Steve was by then training other ESA member clubs across much of northern England. To be trained by him I would often need to travel considerable distances with my son Gavin, and we were honoured that Gavin was regularly used as Steve’s demonstration student (affectionately known as a “Chuck about”)

We became very good friends and I introduced my wife Maggie to Steve and his wife Heather and their newborn son in 1994. The Guinness we drank should have seen us all in the Betty Ford Clinic!

Steve was an exceptional exponent of karate, and was an inspiration to thousands. Not only did he compete for his country, his karate skill was very practical. Gavin and I witnessed this for ourselves when we were attacked one evening. Several young men made a big mistake trying to mug us that evening.

Steve graded me to 2nd Kyu the week before he died so suddenly in 1995. His death had a profound effect on me for a long time, and my club is run in his honour. At my club we train to a very high standard. The standard was set by Sensei Kase, Sensei Bob Smith, Sensei Dirk Heene, and above all you guessed it the man himself Steve.

You will not win many medals doing our special bunkai, but you might get home safely if you have to defend yourself

God bless you Steve

Our club is in honour of these exceptional men.