“40 Years in the World Ju-Jitsu Federation”

Sensei Deborah Forster-Sharples or (Sensei Debs) to most!

Born in 1973 to Pam and Stuart, Debs began her Ju-jitsu journey in 1980 with her Dad, Uncle and Cousin at Red Street Ju-jitsu Club under Instructors Sensei Dave Griffin and Derek Sprotson. It was here she met her long term uke Jason Holford.

Debs showed her aptitude at an early age and was awarded her Junior Black Belt in 1985. She can be seen in the photo above, being presented by Soke Clark.

In 1992, Debs went on to train at Congleton Club under Sensei Paul Eaton.  During this time, she went on to study at Lancaster University, and due to her dedication, she travelled a considerable distance to Southport and Fazakerley Ju-Jitsu Clubs in order to continue her training.

This commitment was rewarded when in 1991 she attained her 2nd Dan and subsequently her 3rd Dan in 1994. 

As 3rd Dan, Debs opened her first WJJF Club in the Broughley Arms Hall in Audley in 1994, moving to Audley Community Centre in 1996. It was at this point she received the accolade of being awarded Technical Officer status.

In addition to successfully running her own Club, Debs continued with her own personal development and attained her 4th Dan in 2007. 

By 2016 Debs had continued her successful development of Ju-Jitsu in her local area by opening an additional two Clubs, WJJF Blurton and WJJF Congleton. It was at this juncture in her Martial Arts career that she took the massive decision to become a full time Martial Arts Instructor, having over 100 students.

In 2015, Debs agreed to become a Director of the World Ju-Jitsu UK CIC, and was very influential in promoting Females in Martial Arts, as well as committing her time to become the publisher of our WJJF newsletter. 

In 2019, Debs reluctantly relinquished her position as WJJF Director due to the fact her clubs were growing rapidly and she felt the need to concentrate more on her personal commitments to her Clubs and students.

In 2017 Debs successfully achieved Master Grade 5th Dan (Godan), and this was followed, due to her commitment and experience, by being appointed as a Senior Technical Officer in 2018.

Sensei Deb is a dedicated fundraiser, organising “Throwathons” and cake sales for local charities, local students such as Audley in Purple and “Becca’s Wish to Walk”, which gathered momentum and was supported throughout the WJJF.

Over the past four decades Sensei Deb has put on several self-defence courses, in her own time, for Youth and Community Services, Newcastle College, Staffordshire Air Cadets, Bee Active and Stoke-on-Trent Council, promoting the art of Ju-Jitsu. 

This year, 2020, marks Sensei Deb’s 40th Year of practising and promoting Ju-Jitsu in accordance with the philosophy of Soke Clark`s World Ju-jitsu Federation. A truly remarkable achievement!

We, at the WJJF, Soke Clark`s Organisation are proud to have you as one of our longest serving members, and thank you and your family, particularly your Mum (Pam) who still takes a very active volunteer part in the running of your clubs and has supported you throughout your Ju-jitsu career.

Even the Global Pandemic of Covid 19 has not stopped Debs, she has continued to teach on ZOOM throughout with great success!

Best Regards and we wish you all the best for the future

Kancho Robert Hart

For and on Behalf of the Directors of Soke Clark`s “World Ju-Jitsu Federation”