Sensei Ross Frame, from Glasgow, has spent over half his life training in
Martial Arts. Beginning in Shotokan Karate over 30 years ago, he has risen
through the years to the heady heights of 7th Dan.
Along the way he has excelled at both Kata and Kumite, and gained a slot on the
prestigious Ticky Donovan O.B.E Great Britain team and fighting at World Level.
Ross, always the innovator was looking at Kyokushinkai ‘knock down karate’ He
had taken part in a knockdown tournament and was unleashing on the mat his
famous kicking techniques. “I was bouncing kicks off the guy’s head and my
Kyokushinkai opponent was walking right through them.
Here was I, a Great Britain and world international fighter known for my
powerful kicking techniques and the guy just kept coming on. This made me
examine everything I had learned thus far. My traditional background and
training had had a shake-up”
He began his martial arts life in Judo before switching after two years to karate. He joined the famous Scottish Budokan Club under the instruction of Alex McGreggor (6th Dan JKA), who at the time boasted some of Britain’s top WUKO fighters- luminaries such as Jerry Fleming, Gene Dunnit, Alistair Mitchell and Steve McCahill to name but a few.
At the start of Ross’ career there were no junior fighting events so he had to be content with entering Kata, which he did to great acclaim and success winning many titles including both the Scottish Kumite and Kata titles.
In the 1980’s, Britain was undoubtedly the dominant force in world karate, winning the world team title on five successive occasions in 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990 under the guidance of Ticky Donovan- . Sensei Ross Frame was a key member of these world championship team winners along with other great fighters such as Vic Charles O.B.E., Jeoff Thompson, Pat Mckay, Gerry Fleming, Mike Sailsman, Mervyn Ettiene, Willie Thomas & Wayne Otto.
After the incident at the ‘knockdown’ tournament, I did some serious thinking about my training in general and along with two times world champion Pat McKay and Davis Quinn formed our own club which we called ‘System 80’s’, The name derived from us being in the 1980’s and it incorporated what people term today as ‘cross-training’, we also incorporated western boxing techniques, grappling, etc. We formed an association because we wanted to gain recognition from the Scottish Karate Board of Control which we did.”
“Some time later Pat went abroad and Davie left to do other things, so I changed the name to the present one – Tei Karate Association.”
“The name Tei incidentally comes from a West African word which means ‘Today’, because that was what I was doing – today’s type of karate. The knock down incident led me to explore many martial arts avenues. I spent some time in Thailand, which again made me realise, after seeing those Thai boxers, fitness levels, that my training had to change dramatically.”
Over the ensuing years I trained with many top people like Bill Wallace and Joe Lewis. I had instruction in grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, ground fighting, and as I said earlier, boxing. Before long other like minded people had joined, they became disillusioned with the way grading standards had dropped, and the money orientated instructors that were about.
After the knockdown stuff, some of the guys at the club were still competing in ordinary traditional competitions – we went to the Belgium Open and won that, we were the first British team to go to Russia and compete in the Russian Open, we won that. I knew it was the our training system that was getting us the results – cross training wasn’t heard of those days and perhaps even more unheard of was a traditional Shotokan Club stepping outside of a set curriculum to look at and train in jiu jitsu, grappling and boxing.”