Jaki McVicar, an 8th Degree Black Belt and Associate Master of the Arts, was born in Torquay, Devon, in the United Kingdom. She worked full-time in retail management. Additionally, she worked for seven years as an SIA-Registered door steward, or citizen ejection technician as she likes to call it, in one of Torquay’s biggest night-clubs.
Jaki began her training in the martial arts in 1965. She began in Judo and then in Shotokan before taking up Kenpo in late 1978. She tested for her black belt in 1982 with Rainer Schulte, the European Director for the International Kenpo Karate Association [IKKA]. She was instructed and tested by 10th Degree Black Belt Grandmaster Ed Parker, the founder of Kenpo Karate, for her 2nd Degree in 1985 and for her 3rd Degree in 1989. Four years later Jaki tested for her 4th Degree by 7th Degree Black Belts John Sepulveda and Roy MacDonald in Jersey, Channel Islands, via the IKKA and tested to 5th Degree in Dublin, Ireland, by 7th Degree Black Belt John Sepulveda in 1997 via AKKS. Over the next almost 20 years, she was awarded her 6th, 7th, and 8th Degree Black Belts by 9th Degree Black Belt Jeff Speakman at his International Training Camp, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jaki won numerous competitions and held British and European titles in fighting, team fighting, Kenpo forms, and Kenpo self-defense techniques, both within the Kenpo world and in open competition. She was featured in Martial Arts Illustrated and Combat and Fighters Magazines.
She founded McVicar Kenpo Karate Academy and was a founding member and head instructor of the Senior Council of The British Kenpo Karate Association (BKKA). Jaki is also one of the highest ranking female Kenpo Instructors in Europe. Unfortunately, after 39 years teaching at her academy, with no one wishing to take over, and in the light of COVID and all its restrictions, she decided to close her academy. She took pride in teaching a tough but achievable adult and junior program that contained the perfect mix of theory and sweat. Her classes were fast paced, gratifying, and educational.
She is forever grateful for the time spent with Mr. Ed Parker and her colleagues Mr. Gary Ellis and Mr. Mervyn Ormand, who were both original BKKA founders. Her priority always was to help students gain a better understanding of their current skill level and beyond. Although she gave up her Academy, she is very much still a student of Kenpo and continues to practice it. As Mr. Parker used to say, “You will give up Kenpo before it gives up you.”