DENNIS GRAY Lt Cdr RN (ret'd) C360 Development Officer
Dennis served in the Royal Navy for 35 years from January 1969 until April 2004. He entered as an apprentice marine engineer artificer (now called technicians) and saw service in a number of the steam powered warships including the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and 4 frigates. He was commissioned Sub Lieutenant in 1984 and served in a broad spectrum of jobs as a seagoing engineer officer, staff officer and operational instructor. In this latter area he has led military teams delivering training not only to the RN but 10 other nations, mostly European. Most training was area specific capability training aimed at warships deploying to the Gulf and South Atlantic. He led a training team providing damage control training to RN and Dutch warships prior to combat operations against former Yugoslavia. Post military service he accepted a contract to deliver engineering training to UAE personnel who were standing-by a warship build in France.
Dennis had always yearned to enter the world of martial arts. In the mid1960s he joined a newly formed judo club in Dumfries Scotland, enjoyed the experience but could not pursue it due to other sporting activities at high school and swimming. It was always his intention to return to martial arts and eventually achieved his goal when, in late 2007, he joined a Plymouth based club offering Kali and JKD. He also worked with and for another local club that drew upon Cacoy Doce Pares. He has also run his own club, assisted University of Plymouth JKD group and other clubs offering guidance on administration aspects with regard to child protection matters. His work with other clubs was always in a voluntary capacity as he sought knowledge over reward. In early 2010 he learned of a club in Liskeard, headed by one Mark Tucker, which was offering places on a Progressive Fighting Systems course as created by Guro Paul Vunak. Thereafter followed further training opportunities with Mark to train with Guro Rick Fay. In 2017 Dennis requested to join Mark’s club as student and was delighted when Mark agreed to accept him as a student. Now in his 70th year Dennis is settled and happy in a very exciting and positive club environment which, quite simply, offers world class training opportunities. He is particularly pleased to have had some involvement in Mark Tucker’s Combatives360 programme. The programme Mark has developed encourages and offers training that is common to military personnel and which guides students in experiences gained through core military values - strategic thinking, situational awareness and incident management; or as Mark would state - Combatives360.