Frederick “Skipper” Ingham

Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2017 – Our Sporting Heritage

Until 1970 it was impossible for people in Bermuda to study martial arts. Then Grand-Master Skipper Ingham changed that situation by opening Bermuda’s first ever martial arts school, the Bermuda Karate Institute. Two years later, he gave Bermuda another first by promoting the first karate tournament ever to be held in Bermuda. Since then, he has taught hundreds of people karate, including his wife, Kristina and his son, Zenji, while also training many to represent Bermuda abroad in international tournaments and championships. Bermuda’s highest ranking martial artist, Skipper holds a 10th degree black belt rank, and has himself successfully competed in numerous international martial arts events, in recent years never letting his age deter him. He has also been featured in many martial arts magazines and appeared on the cover of “Black Belt” magazine.

Born in 1930, he was filled with the desire to travel from an early age. After serving in the US Army, he became a merchant seaman and it was on a visit to Japan he noticed a karate school and became intrigued. In 1955 in New York he joined a karate school, studying under Grand-Master Peter Urban, thus beginning his lifetime commitment to the martial arts. In 1994 he was the first martial artist to receive the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour for his contributions to the martial arts in Bermuda. In 2007 he was inducted into the Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame.

His personal awards are innumerable, but the achievements of his students, in all areas of their lives are what are most important to him. As he explains, he not only teaches his students his athletic skills; he teaches his philosophy and way of life: to take care of his health, to respect his fellow men and women, to help whenever he can, and to listen to everyone.