Vic Charles MBE

was born in St. Lucia, and moved to London with his family at an early age. He tried many sports, but it was karate which caught his imagination. In 1977 he competed in his first international competition. In the world arena, as an individual and team player, he became a force to be reckoned with.

A strong willed and opinionated individual, he credits the chances afforded to him through the sport, including the opportunity to travel, as the reason for his positive outlook. He is an inspiration and role model to many, continuing to teach in his own gym, N16, in Stoke Newington, as well as conducting seminars worldwide. He has published books and produced videos, and was also on the line up for the popular television show ‘Superstars’.

His many championship titles include the Karate World Cup, The World Heavyweight, the World Games and countless European titles, he was also a member of the winning world team (with Jeff Thompson and Pat McKay). He is also actively involved in the Stoke Newington community, having served as a school governor and on the panel of the local business association.

Vic Charles was awarded an MBE for Services to Karate in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1989. This was the first time the sport of karate had been recognised and honoured in this way.

Karate was my route. Competition took me to every corner of the world and allowed me to meet people from all over the world. My success came with hard work, determination and a drive for success that came out of the brutality of life in an East End hostile to the arrival of immigrants from the West Indies.