Richard “Razz” Hopkins is a 6th Dan and proudly wears the coveted red and white belt of that grade. He is also the club Kodansha which is a Japanese term meaning “High ranking Judoka – 5th Dan and above”. Razz’s father was one of the founding members of Devizes Budo Club in 1957. Raz started at Devizes Budo Club in 1966/67 where he competed from 1974 to 2009. He won National Veterans and British Masters in 1996 and in the national Team Championships he took Bronze in 2003. He also competed in the IJF Veteran World Championships 2009 – 7th place. Raz was awarded his Coaching Licence in 1992 and has been a National C Referee since 2008. He was also a Games Maker during the London 2012 Olympics.
Jason joined Devizes Judo Club in 1995 at the age of ten. He started competing shortly after that and progressed onto the British Cadet and Junior squads in his teenage years. As a senior, Jason won medals at the British Championships which gained him a place on the British Senior squad while he was studying and training at University of Bath. Jason also won other titles such as English Open Champion and British Universities Champion. Jason started coaching casually at the age of 20, just helping out the other coaches at Devizes. In 2010 Jason was named as one of the Western Area coaching team and in 2013 he became the Head coach at Devizes. Over the years Jason has supported the coaching of the England junior squads, and officially became one of the England coaching team in 2017. Jason is qualified to UKCC level 3 and is currently undertaking the MSc Advanced Coaching Practice, due to be completed in 2020.
Mark Burbidge has been the Club Chairman for a number of years now. He was awarded his 1st dan by the BJA in 1990 and his 2nd dan in 1995. Aged 15 he won the Gold at the British Schools and was also a member of the Western Area who won the team event at the British Schools. He also won a bronze medal at the British Nationals. He became a professional coach in 1996, was made an honorary life member of Devizes Budo Club in 1997 and made Wiltshire Judo coach in 2000. Mark is a professional Judo Coach working all over Wiltshire and adjoining counties teaching the combat sport to school children of all ages. Mark, along with Jason Parsons, was the National 2015 winner of the Club Coach of the Year at the British Judo Association’s annual awards held in Walsall fighting off competition from all over Britain which was a fantastic achievement. Mark is also the Wiltshire squad coach. He has been involved with the club since 1978 when he first started training as a very young judoka and has competed for many years representing club, county and country along the way.
Jerard Mckay 1st Dan started training at the club in 1982 at aged 12 under coach Rob Hayter. He started competing straight away winning county, western area and National medals all the way into senior Judo. Jerard very much benefited at this time from the club enjoying a wealth of very talented judoka like Robert Wixon, Mark Emery, Mark Burbidge, Raz Hopkins and many more who he trained alongside. Also Julian Davis who went onto compete in the Atlanta Olympics and a fact the club is very proud off. Jerard successfully qualified as a BJA level 2 coach 8 years ago and started coaching along side Razz on a Monday evening and also coached seniors along side Dave Duxebury. Jerards daughter also trains at the club and is a member of the Devizes squad and has also been on the England squad and competed nationally winning a number off national medals and internationally in Holland.
John Jacques 2nd Dan started training in 2004, been a second dan since 2013. He has trained and taught in clubs in the UK as well as India, and in other martial arts, mma , ju jitsu, muay thai, boxing etc. He takes a practical focus in his approach to Aikido.
Graham Hickman is the Club Secretary. His first connection with Devizes Budo Club was in early 2011 when he started to train in Judo at the club under Razz Hopkins, Jerard McKay and Dave Duxberry. He trained for around four years at a “recreational level” but never competed. A nasty elbow injury in 2015 finished his short lived judo experience on the tatami but he continues to work with the Club through the management committee and as Club Secretary since 2014.
His eldest two children (Will & Ed) also started at the Club in 2011 and have been squad members for around five years and also help out on Monday’s session.
Steven Cottle has been a committee member of Devizes Budo Club since May 2016 and is in training to be our second Child Welfare Officer alongside Linsey Major. Steven has occasionally ventured onto the mat to train in Judo and once spent over 12 hours training in one session when the club did a marathon 24hr session back in March 2015. Steven has three children (Harvey, Tilly & Archie). Harvey and Tilly are squad members.
Wayne Mersini has been a committee member since May 2016 and is also our Competition Events Coordinator since February 2018 dealing with the Club’s entries at various competitions across Britain and Europe. Wayne also trained in judo at the Club for a while and was another who spent over 12 hours in a single session during the 24 hour fund raising session at the old club in March 2015. Wayne has two children, Ben & Lewis, who train at the Club with both of them in the squad and Ben also in the National Great Britain squad.