Phil Doherty


Published June 2012

Since originally writing this Phil's online newspaper 'The Martial News' has faded away but this shall remain as a permanent testament to the writer the martial artist and our friend and adviser from days gone by.
Phil Doherty Is A Man Of Many Talents But We Are Going To Take A Look At Him In His Capacity As A Writer And Owner Of The Martial News.
This is an interview we have been wanting to do for sometime and at last the time has come. Alas until we can find our way North a written interview it is instead of our favoured video Interview. Phil Doherty, Journalist, Businessman, Martial Artist and we would be inclined to say damn good judge of character. Dan came in contact with Phil early on in the life of Cage Amateurs UK and lucky for us Phil has taken us under his wing and been around for advice and help and bonds have been formed resulting in Cage Amateurs UK linking up with the much LARGER Martial News which I would advise anyone reading this that hasn't visited the site to do so there's a lot of excellent stuff there covering a wide range of subjects. As we have learned more about Phil we find him popping up everywhere although we have decided that we will have too travel North if we want a decent photo as Phil seems to be like Tim's neighbour, Wilson, in the television program  Home Improvement and there seems to be very few of him. Jon P  
Phil Doherty1) How old was you and what sparked your interest, to get into journalism ?

PD: I’ve always been interested in English and when I left school joined my dad’s printing company. I worked with him up until I was 23 year old and then, because I needed more money than I was receiving working with my dad, so I became a sawyer. Unfortunately I had an industrial accident and chopped all four fingers on my left hand off. Three fingers were sewn back on. I was a Black Belt in Karate and was I utterly devastated by what had happened to me because the consultant said I would never do Martial Arts again. So, I set out to prove him wrong and when he told me to do ten of a particular exercise I did 20. This saw me end up with one of the best hands they had done at the plastic surgery unit. Unlike most who have the operations I had I can form a full fist. Because I was off work for around three years once I was declared fit I decided to go back to college and become a journalist. I first had to get the basic qualifications to get onto the National Council for Training of Journalist course. That took me two years and then it was a further year for the N.C.T.J. course. By the time I qualified I was 29 years old. I then moved to Kent for my first reporting job.
2/ What is your Martial Arts back ground?

PD:I started training in my late teens in Wado Ryu Karate under Alfie Currah. The club was a member of the Bu-Bujin Karate Clubs, run by Michael and Graham Exley. We were a competition club and used to fight all over the UK in both Karate and open competitions. Our team won hundreds and hundreds of medals, had five members in the A.M.A. England squad – which was half the team! After my industrial accident I could not compete at the same level again so I started teaching and was the assistant Chief Instructor to Alfie. I started training in Taekwondo and trained for a while with the then European Champion Mick Thompson, then a 5th degree. I also trained in Wing Chun Kung Fu and Escrima as well as Jeet Kune Do. When I went down to Kent I met Keith Porter, a 15th Dan in Ninjutsu, and began training with him for around five years. Keith is one of the top instructors in this art and I learn'Phil Doherty so much about Martial Arts from him. His school is a no-nonsense Dojo and everything he teaches is really practical and incredibly painful! I would recommend anyone wanting to learn real Martial Arts to train with Keith.

3/ When and how did you decide to combine the two and start Martial News?

PD: We started running fight shows, seminars and competitions but found that mainstream media just were not interested in running stories on Martial Arts unless they were derogative. We help the organiser of the Marfest Martial Arts festival with publicity and even though he has raised thousands for Cancer Research UK, the papers just were not interested. So we thought, ‘To hell with them...’ and decided to set up our own newspaper dedicated to Martial Arts. We set it up to help clubs gain publicity for what they did, encourage clubs to raise cash for charity and also be a place where students can have their achievement recognised. We also wanted to help the fight world by giving them a place where they could publish their articles. It’s unique in the UK because it’s NOT a magazine but a newspaper. That means it is written in a completely different style, a news-style. This is there is an emphasis on news as opposed to features. There are four of us who started it: Darren Currah Deputy Editor, Dave Price Web Editor and Don Robinson, who was until recently the managing Editor. We have now been joined by Sue Wharton the log Editor, Daniel Drew who does reviews and Sofi Hassen who writes features as well as reporters such as James Land, Dave Brown and contributors such as Dave Macintyre, John Barrass, John Atkin and many others.
4/ You also run Combat TV, for anyone who does not know can you tell us about this?

PD: Combat Sports Live TV is a partnership between Martial News, 10th Legion’s Alan Orr and Thomas Tailford of Chimp Media filming. It is a filming service that includes straight videoing or live streaming TV for the fight industry. It has been on the go for around six months and in that time has filmed and streamed some of the biggest shows in the UK. If the show meets the criteria it gets put forward to be shown on SKY Active Channel. It’s a new service but already thousands upon thousands of people from across the globe have tuned in from more than 20-odd countries.
5/ You have a couple of other Martial Art related companies.Can you tell us about them?

PD: We run a group called D.F.M. Martial Arts which includes Mixed Martial Arts, Kickboxing and Street Combat Clubs. Also we have a Training Company which runs First Aid and Health and Safety courses as well as supplying Medics to the Fight Industry. Shortly we will be launching a fight match up service which will go along side our Security and Cage Hire services amongst other services we offer. As well as that we run a PR brand called Maverick Media and PR which undertakes PR for fight events as well as everyday businesses. We also have a couple of major projects in the pipeline but we cannot reveal these just yet.
Phil Doherty6/ What has been your biggest story that has meant most to you?

PD: There has been so many good stories to tell the truth. But one that sticks in my mind was the one on the fungus that was affecting Judo and Ju-jitsu clubs in Japan. It had seen lots of clubs going out of business across there and there were fears it would spread across the world to the UK. Basically it was a flesh eating organism that was quite nasty. The simple answer to it? Wash your training kit regularly! But other stories that I’ve enjoyed doing are those were a young girl/woman or even a man defends themselves against a would be attacker. You often have M.M.A. guys slagging off Traditional Martial Arts yet 90 percent of those type of stories involve people defending themselves successfully using Traditional Arts such as Taekwondo, Karate and Judo…I guess the answer is the old adage about not judging book’s by their cover. 
7/ Have you any plans to expand as I know you are up till early hours as it is with your current work?

PD: Yes, as I mentioned earlier with have a number of new projects coming up. We are very shortly about to launch a Southern Edition of Martial News. This will be small in scope to start with but eventually it will be the same as the Northern Edition. Then we will be looking to expand into the United States. We are also looking at developing mainstream media outlets but that won’t be until next year. 
8/ Is there anyone in the world you have not interviewed, that you would like to feature on Martial News? You can only choose one.

PD: Oh this is a hard one…so many people I’d love to interview for Martial News. I did get to do one very recently which was Soke Brian Dossett, which I really enjoyed as he is such a character and a was seen as a maverick many moons ago when in truth he was just questioning assumptions. I admire him for the stand he took. However, the person I would love to interview is Hatsumi, the head of the Bujinkan. He is such an interesting character and has vast knowledge of Martial Arts. 
9/ Apart from the Martial News what is your favourite Mixed Martial Arts site?

PD: Well obviously otherwise I would not have wanted to partner up with you two guys. What I like about cage amateurs is its honesty and its freshness and it high standard of interviews. Also, it has laudable aims in that it tries to help those at the start of their career receive publicity. Another publication I think that is very well done is MMA Uncaged edited by Alan Orr. This is a very good high quality publication that I believe will go far. Alan is a business partner of ours and is a really good guy.
Thank you Phil for this great Interview
The Martial News 

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