Mark Red Skelton (2009)

Inducted into the A.M.A.H.O.F.(Inc) for 2009
Budoka of the Year – Freestyle Karate

Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2009
Budoka of the Year – Freestyle Karate

Mark Red Skelton is now 41 years of age and is married and father to three girls who are all martial artists and dancers. He is self employed as a Glazier. Mark is currently a 4th Dan Black Belt in Freestyle Karate and a 1st Dan Black Belt in Iaido.

I first starting fighting when my father taught me to box at the age of about 6-7, because I had a bad and short temper. The first lesson I gave Dad a black eye. I have Loved the challenge ever since.
I started martial arts in high school, one of the teachers was an instructor of kung fu. He showed me the other side of martial arts, its not just fighting.

Started my formal training, under sensei Allan Monks one of Mr. Kong-Wing Loh instructors in Gisborne, New Zealand. Trained in Shito-Ryu Shuyoukan for about 2 years. Started in 1987 and finished in 1989 reaching the rank of 4th kyu.

After a few years off, I started again from 10th kyu with a new instructor and a new style. The instructor was Renchi Frank Demarco, the style was Mal Lomax San Chi Kai. The dojo was in Sunbury. This was in 1991.

I trained with Mr. Demarco in San Chi Kai and reached the rank of 1st kyu.

In about 93/94 Mr. Demarco and Mr. Brian Preece broke away and formed a new style, Southern Cross Martial Arts. I continued my training with Mr. Demarco grading through to Yondan (4th dan), and running many dojo for him. In 1996 I was a member of the Australian Team that travelled to the ISKA US Open in Florida and competed in Kata and Sparring.

In 1997 in Victoria I competed at the ISKA Australian Open gaining a bronze in demo kata and silver in weapons kata.

In 1999 representing SCMA at the World Cup in Queensland I received a gold for team sparring and bronze in kumite.

ISKA Hall of Fame 2001, 2002, 2003 Referee of the Year for Victoria.

ISKA Hall of Fame 2002, 2004 Competitor of the Year for Victoria.

ISKA Hall of Fame 2002, Instructor of the year for Victoria.

In 2000 I started training at home in my own dojo due to the birth of my twin girls this meant I had 3 girls under 2 half years, so a very busy house which I needed to be closer to. It also meant the birth of my martial arts in Darley, Victoria, as word soon spread students started showing up on my door step. Class numbers grew and the dojo (shed)became too small. After a short time training in one of the school gyms, I started to look for a permanent dojo. In 2002 I found a factory and now we train there 5 days a week mixed and special classes, catering for all ages and levels.

Grading to my Yondan Grading in SCMA in 2003.

In September/October of 2005 along with Shihan Mark Abella, we form a new style called Bushido Freestyle Martial Arts.

2005 was a busy year as I also started training with Mr. Ron Wright of Yanagi Te Iaido. In 2007 I was graded through to Shodan in Iaido, the grading was taped and viewed by Mr. Allan Tattersall. Mr. Tattersall is the founder of Myoshin Ryu Jujitsu Int. and his rank in Iaido is of a Kyoshi.

2007 I became a general member of the Dia Nippon Butoku Kai. I was recognised under the new management of ISKA Victoria for Level 4 Referee and Official.

2008 I travelled with Mr Doherty to Kyoto Japan, representing Victoria at the third World Butoku Sai. Gathering of the world Dai Nippon Butoku Kai. It was a fabulous experience, learning more advanced Iaido and training at the home of Martial Arts. I hope to take my family back to train with me in 2012.

In 2009 with-in my dojo, the kobudo classes will expand, as many of my students are keen to learn, so with the help of Shihan Hugh Doherty, we will be able to pass on our learning.