A new feature to start of the season will be on the Karate Jutsu Coaches who operate at the Dojo. The first feature will be on the current UXC Lightweight Amateur Champion Rowan Prendiville….so a good introduction to Rowan, the character that Karate Jutsu builds and the total skill levels involved in the old fighting art of Karate Jutsu here is Rowans Title fight against the tough skillful Conor White…pull up a chair and enjoy. I guarantee you will go a long way to see a better more exciting fight.
So who is Rowan. Roughly about 17 years ago, Rowans father dragged two brothers into a wee parish hall in Glengormley, St Bernards to take up Karate. They trained two to three times a week, nothing special to start but it wasn’t long before it was obvious that they both were something special. That special something came mostly from the fact that their parents invested all of their time and energy into the two boys and even when the boys felt like quitting, like all children do, their parents knew what was best for them and dragged them along.
Skip a few years and Rowan and Garth became assistant Coaches and began their role of inspiring the younger kids (enough of Garth, he’ll get his own feature next)
Throughout these years Rowan competed in karate leagues and tournaments and excelled in all of them, but the training and fight scene was changing and the skills Rowan was developing through Karate Jutsu, meant that the standard Karate style tournaments were not testing his skills properly.
In 2006 the club was invited to become part of the Sport Jujitsu scene, a fast paced fighting sport which was very like MMA but was on mats and exponents wore gi’s, perfect. In 2007 the World Sport Jujitsu Championships beckoned and two of the Zanshin Karate Jutsu exponents were selected, two from both ends of the spectrum 41 year Old Danny Corr and 17 year old Rowan (we cheated slightly he was supposed to be 18) but he was so tough at this stage that didn’t matter.
The venue was in Jersey and the Irish Squad was at its first ever tournament, but it was a tough skillfull team with the right balance of Youth and experience, Paddy Ritchie was the main man of the squad he led us through the quagmire of rules and strategies and led also in the fighting spirit stakes. But the youngest of the squad Rowan got his Chance against the Canadian World Champion, a massive debut and one which Rowan showed the resolve and toughness that is standard throughout his career. The fight went the full distance with only a point between them. As a coach my heart was in my mouth and it was to stay in my mouth every single time Rowan fought from then until now!
That team launched some massive friendships and a couple of not to shabby MMA champions..Rowan Prendiville and Andy “Taz” Young.
The world championships gave Rowan a taste for the bigger competitions, when you fight on the world stage there needs to be something to keep that hunger going and the world of MMA was one that Rowan wanted to get into. So we put a plan in place and when he turned 18 he took a fight in the famous Ramble in under Davey Pattersons fantastic EFR show. We trained hard, harder than I think anyone else has witnessed since (but something we will be bringing back to the current breed of fighters). It was twice a day everyday, Rowan was in the shape of his life and although this was a debut amateur fight he was as fit as any professional…the fight lasted around 27 seconds, Rowans debut was a disgrace. There were some snigggers when people heard there was a karate guy fighting..the sniggers turned too gasps, Rowan and Karate Jutsu had made their first mark on the MMA scene.
I don’t want to make this into a list of Rowans career fights, however his fight with Decky Dalton is almost legendary now and in my opinion made both fighters what they are today. As a coach on the night I hated the fight it was brutal and violent but highly skilled, neither fighter took a backward step and Rowan smiled through a blood soaked grin and kept moving forward, 3 rounds of mayhem and still a fight which Decky Dalton talks about to this day as one of his toughest. Rowan went on to take on some of the best in his weight category Peter Quealy, Conor White to name a couple.
But unlike a lot of amateur fighters today you will here no smack talk out of Rowan, you will not see him boast and bluster on facebook but when you step into that cage with him you better be prepared and ready for a war.
His MMA career does not define Rowan, far from it he is a Karate Jutsu exponent in every way. He has earned his Blackbelt the hardest way possible and presents a Role model to everyone that comes his way. He does not take breaks, he does not make excuses he just trains to be as good as he can be. In the Dojo you will be lucky enough to avail of his coaching, coaching based on 17 years experience as a child, a teenage tournament competitor and as a competitor at the highest level in his chosen sport.
Rowan will be coaching regularly at the Dojo this season so keep posted for lists of his classes.
I will leave you with the following two pictures which best describe the Karate Jutsu Fighter and Rowan Prendiville.