Sensei Phil Snewin first began his Martial Arts Career back in the late 1970s almost by accident. The class he attended was fairly successful in that Kanazawa Sensei used to occasionally frequent the dojo and would, from time to time, take the training sessions. After a period of six months or so, a class closer to home was located and Sensei Snewin then began a close relationship with the teacher who was to shape his early approach to Martial Arts, and instilled his passion for a traditional approach to training, Sensei John Scott of Ishinryu Karate.
Sensei Scott ran a number of classes in the Aylesbury Area and these were very popular providing very demanding training and hard workouts. John was a product of Ticky Donovan's schooling and a contemporary of such notables as Tyrone White and Timmy Francis, however he began his training in Wado Ryu with Tatsuo Suzuki. Even though Ishinryu is a hybrid modern system, Sensei Scott's approach was very old-school and great attention was paid to behaving the right way and cultivating good awareness. Right from the offset, Sensei Snewin had a passion for training and used to train a number of times each week. His progress through the grades was slow and sure as Sensei Scott's approach was concerned with quality of product rather than quantity.
Even as a young man, Sensei Snewin's enthusiasm for training was apparent and when there was not a class available with Sensei Scott he would visit other clubs in Aylesbury for some spirited Kumite practice. This stood the young Sensei Snewin in good stead throughout his teenage years growing up in Aylesbury as the town could be quite rough at times, and as a young man he was not infrequently involved in confrontations and fights. It was during 1979 that Sensei Snewin also began training in traditional Aikido at Aylesbury Aikikai. This was under the tutelage of Sensei Chas Haywood, the father of one of his close friends and only served to increase his taste for Japanese Martial Arts.