Barry Ripley, 2nd Dan, began his karate experience in 1966. He started practising with a brown belt in Goju ryu, while studying engineering at U.N.B. in Fredericton, NB. He learned a few things and became fascinated with the art. At that time, he was on the university gymnastics team, so karate was a lower priority.
When Sensei Barry finished at U.N.B., in 1969, he moved to Saint John, NB and went to work for NB Tel. He joined joined a karate club with the NKA, under Masami Tsuoroka sensei and Shane Higachi sensei, of Toronto. He progressed to 3rd kyu level under these sensei's and their local instructors. During his time living Saint John he renewed his experience in Goju ryu, training for a couple of weeks with a 3rd dan, Masayoshi Nohara, from Okinawa.
In 1971, Barry met David Maxfield, and Donald Simpson. David had trained under Kanazawa sensei and Enoeda sensei in Britain. David Maxfield was instrumental in introducing JKA karate in NB. They contacted the old KIO karate club at St. Denis St. in Montreal and brought Renald LeBoeuf to Saint John to teach a training clinic. Renald had recently returned to Canada after about 4 years in Japan, training at central dojo and Takushoku university, and had taken the JKA instructors training course. Barry was quickly convinced that JKA was his path. He was amazed by the techniques of LeBoeuf sensei. David, Don, and Barry developed a relationship with the JKA club in Montreal and over the next several years, brought Renald LeBoeuf, Emil Pavaliu, Eve Beaudin, Francois Gelinas, Gilles Delisle, Alain Faucher and others down for training clinics to NB. In 1972, the Montreal club brought Shirai sensei over from Italy and Barry was invited to a two week summer training camp at Isle aux Noix. He was so impressed, after training under Shirai sensei, at that camp, that he never looked back.
During the next several years, he attended summer training camps with Okazaki sensei, and Takashina sensei, as well as periodic training clinics with these sensei's. He also attended several training clinics with Mikami sensei, Yaguchi sensei, and Tanaka sensei. During this period, the Saint John club brought Kondo sensei from Japan, and Barry was able to train with him periodically for a few years. In 1974, He moved to Moncton and started his own club, and for the next few years, he travelled to Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB to teach that university club and travelled to Truro, NS to teach the JKA club there. His students in Truro, in those days included Tony Tam, Danny Tam, Kenny Tam, and Charles Surette, who all became high ranking black belts in later years. He also travelled to UNB in Fredericton, NB to teach karate there. Saeki sensei came from Japan to live in Ottawa, and Barry would train with him at weekend clinics, on several occasions.
In 1977, Barry attained shodan with the exam conducted by Takashina sensei. In 1979, he attained nidan with the exam conducted by Yaguchi sensei. Barry continued to train regularly at least 3 times per week, except for brief lay-offs for various major surgeries and a bout with cancer. During the split between the ISKF, and the AAKF, and later the JKA, he declined joining any organization, for several years, because he had close friends in all three organizations. Over the years, he have been a member of the NKA, JKA, ISKF, and IKD and has attended many of their training clinics. He has learned continuously for the last 48 years. He has also taught students of the NKA, JKA, and ISKF during most of that period. Since the formation of the new IKD in 2011, Barry has joined that association and has been teaching 2 or 3 times a week at the local Moncton IKD: St. Pat's dojo.
Many of his students have, long since, surpassed his official rank. Although he hasn't had an official ranking since nidan, he is proud to have helped and taught thousands of students, some of whom are now 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th dan ranked.
During his younger years, he competed in Maritime karate tournaments and won a few medals. He also competed in the Canadian National championships several times in the late 1970's and early 1980's, as well as coaching teams and individuals for those events. Barry was a better coach than competitor at the nationals, and his students won more medals than he did.