Meet the Team
Certified and experienced Judo instructors on every session.

Michael Douglass, 6th Dan

Andrew Douglass, 3rd Dan

President of Bushido Za-Zen
UKCC Level 2 Coaching Award
Area Manager
Society Coach
Society Referee
First Aider

Michael first started Judo when he was 8 years old, as a member of the BJC. Michael assisted his Late Brother Paul Douglass, 4th Dan, to run his own society ‘Bushido Kan Judo Association’. before making the move to the Bushido Za-Zen International Martial Arts Society in 1998.

Michael competed at various levels within the BJC including as part of the Newcastle Area at National and International Level.

He has since coached many students, along with his Brother Paul before his passing in 2003, who have gone on to compete up to International level and Michael continues to coach today keeping alive Paul’s Spirit of Judo.
Through his 40 years in Judo he has seen many changes and continues to keep up to date with current developments, and after all this time served he is happy to take a slight back seat and oversee his youngest son and daughter-in-law, Andrew and Rachael, organise events. Michael still hits all the sessions he can make to pass on his coaching and accepts the odd Randori challenge from the juniors who think they have what it takes!
Coach Facts: Favourite Throw is Harai Goshi – Once had a full head of hair!

UKCC Level 2 Coaching Award
Area  Coach
Society Referee
First Aider
Andrew first stepped on the mat aged 4 years old, following the footsteps of his older Brother, Father and Uncle.
Andrew has competed at various levels from Club to National level for over 21 years and achieved numerous medals at each level.
 Along with his Wife (Rachael) he has been organising and running events for the last few years, ranging from Gradings, Competitions, Presentations and Masterclass events with Team GB’s elite Judoka in a bid to keep up the success of the area that Paul and Michael built up and worked on for many years before.
By continuously attending different courses to progress his knowledge within Judo, his focus is to continually develop all Judoka (with technical and competitive skills), and to take the club in a new exciting direction, with the backing and support from the team.
Coach Facts: Favourite Throw is O Soto Gari - First one to hug the new mats!

Glen Douglass, 2nd Dan

Steve Smith, 2nd Dan

Club Coach
National Referee
Glen first started Judo at Concordia Leisure Centre aged 5 years old, under Sensei Jack Hearn, then moving on to train under his Father and Uncle at Lightfoot Stadium and he continued his Judo career on this basis.
Glen has great experience in Judo through competing at various levels from club to International competitions. Glen has also gained a great deal of knowledge and experience by working closely with Neil Adams MBE in the early 2000’s, with his training partner back then, Ray.
After taking a couple of years out of Judo to raise his Family, Glen came back on the mat in 2012 to help out with coaching and to pass his knowledge onto students from both Ashington and Newbiggin.
Coach Facts: Favourite throws are De Ashi Harai and Okuri Ashi Harai, best advice… avoid getting thrown by them throws!

UKCC Level 2 Coaching Award
Assistant Instructor
Area Referee
First Aider
Steve started Judo in 1998 at the age of 38 after his kids had started, joining in as a means of keeping fit, little knowing how much he would enjoy it!
Steve first started with a club called Wallsend Dragons, and then later moved to Butokokan Judo when the two clubs merged together in 2005.
Joining as a recreational player, he has always been keen on joining in with randori within the club and has competed in competitions up to Area level.
Now focusing on his coaching he has attained his UKCC level 2 and loves learning new techniques and going on to teach them to students.
Coach Facts: Favourite throw is Tai Otoshi. Even with his long legs, he can get low enough to make it effective! You dont want to be on the end of this...

Ray Cook, 2nd Dan

Molly Common, 1st Dan

UKCC Level 2 Coaching Award
Assistant Instructor
First Aider

Ray was nine years old when he started Judo in February 1997 with the Bushido Kan Judo Association under Head Coach Paul Douglass (4th Dan) and the assistance of his brother Mike, at the Lightfoot Centre in Newcastle. Ray then attended several other Bushido Za-Zen and BJC clubs that Paul opened in the Newcastle area in the years that followed, where he enjoyed high-quality coaching sessions that were inspired by Paul’s frequent trips to the Kodokan Judo Institute and Tokai University in Japan.
Ray has competed at local, national and international competitions and has won various medals. Ray also participated in a mentoring scheme led by Neil Adams MBE (8th Dan) in the early 2000s with his training partner, Glen Douglass. This was a very fruitful and enjoyable period for Ray and Glen – despite the injuries!
After taking some time out of Judo to focus on his career, Ray returned to Butokokan Judo Club in early 2018 and has thoroughly enjoyed his return to Judo, especially attending masterclasses with some of Team GB’s elite Judoka; participating in a European Judo Union course delivered by Hiroshi Katanishi (8th Dan) and Jane Bridge (8th Dan); achieving his BJA Contest Recorder Award and assisting with coaching at Butokokan Judo Club sessions, where he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others.
Coach Facts: Favourite throws are De Ashi Harai, Okuri Ashi Harai and Tai Otoshi.
Level 1 Coaching Award
First Aider
Molly first started judo aged 13 with Butokokan Judo and is one of the few originals from some of our first sessions. 

Molly has always enjoyed entering competitions at Area and National level, and has gained various medals at these events.

As Molly prefers looking at the contest side of judo, she loves to coach these aspects based on her own competitive experiences, and enjoys helping judoka plan for upcoming contests. 

Molly is always on hand to set up and prepare for events the club is hosting. and has been helping out at area events on the tables marking up the contest sheets and ensuring judoka are following the timetables. 
Coach Facts: Favourite Throw is Ura Nage - Favourite Quote is 'Create results; not excuses'

Adam Douglass, 1st Kyu

Rachael Douglass, 1st Kyu

Level 1 Coaching Award
Area Referee
First Aider
Adam has participated in judo since he was 13. He originally came to support his cousin, who wanted to give it a try, but ended up loving it and is still on the mat 6 years later.

Competitive judo is a big part in Adams life, and he has competed from club competitions through to national level. He has picked up various tips from Masterclasses we have hosted to use when fighting himself, and he also uses this information to pass down to help our judoka as well. 

Adam is always happy to jump in and help out with training and coaching, and enjoys thinking of different ways that could benefit students on the mat. He has over 5 years of experience coaching younger students in various other sports, so is very confident in his abilities. 
Coach Facts: Favourite Throws are Maki Komi and Uchi Mata - Can occasionally be seen without a cap!

UKCC Level 2 Coaching Award
Club Instructor
​Area Referee
First Aider

Rachael first started Judo at the age of 20, following a £10 bet from her husband that she wouldn't... She won and is STILL on the mat  6 years on because she loved it that much!
Rachael has competed at various levels from Club to National level since stepping on the mat and continues to enter competitions when she can. She has also started refereeing at area level and is keen to improve on her refereeing abilities. 
 Along with Andrew, Rachael helps to organise events, from Masterclasses with Team GB's most talented judoka to Competitions, Gradings and Presentations. On top of this Rachael also works hard on the clubs advertising by handling the clubs Facebook page and website.

Seeing the smiles on judokas faces is what Rachael loves about coaching, and she wants to be a part of helping our students develop and get to the next level.
Coach Facts: Favourite Throw is O Goshi and Tani Otoshi

Neil Hedley, 1st Kyu

Anthony Welch, 1st Kyu

Level 1 Coaching Award
Assisant Instructor
​Club Treasurer
Deputy Child Welfare Officer
First Aider
Neil first started Judo in 1975 (aged 12) and trained under the BJA for Blyth Power Station as well as Hirst  Welfare Judo Clubs. Although Neil had a short spell in judo he attained the 11th Mon grade and competed at various levels as a junior, gaining some good results, before persuing other sports.

Neil returned to judo with Butokokan Judo in 2015 after a small break from the sport (only 40 years..) and has only one regret - not continuing as a junior (Matsuoka Shuzo - Never give up, its never too late).

He appreciates the sport even more now and knows that his competition days are over, so is concetrating on his role as treasurer within the club, and gaining some fund raising. Neil is also very focused on building his coaching skills, and in November 2016 he received his Assistant Instructor Award and followed this in August 2017 with his Level 1 Coaching Award. 
Coach Facts: Favourite throws are Uki Waza, Tomoe Nage and Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi.

Level 1 Coaching Award
Assistant Instructor
​First Aider
Anthony first started Martial Arts in his late twenties, spending about 3 years studying Karate and Ju-Jitsu (until fatherhood put the brakes on all of his hobbies!)

In 2014, at the spritley age of 38, Anth ended up back on the mat with his youngest son (Matthew) at Shugendo Judo Club in Cramlington.

In 2016 Anth and Matthew moved to Butokokan Judo Club to persue a more competitive focus in their judo. Since then Anth has attained his Assistant Instructor award, and has started to enter some local competitions to see if he can cut it with the youngsters!
Coach Facts: Favourite Throws are O Guruma, Seio Otoshi and Tai Otoshi (but he is always keen on a bit of groundwork for the win) - Nicknamed 'Old and Slow'

Fiona Floyd

Club Secretary
Child Welfare Officer
Fiona doesn't do judo herself, but her two children, Molly and Tom Common take part and Fiona has supported them for 6 years.
As well as supporting her children, Fiona and her partner John Common have been behind the club, and have more recently taken a more active role within the club.
Fiona always helps out with various events the club runs, from signing people in to taking photographs when required, and when the Coaches are busy she is the first to step in and lend a hand.

As well as this Fiona attends every meeting as the club secretary with good input and suggestions to help the club progress even further!