Mr. Sharkey attended Woodchurch High School. Upon leaving school aged 16 he went straight into the Army re joining the Irish Guards as a Guardsman. He was initially posted to West Germany and he specialized in Anti-Tanks. He became a tank driver at 18. He served in the Guards for 5 years in West Germany, Canada and London. With brief postings to Denmark, France and Edinburgh. He completed his Army life standing guard outside Buckingham Palace. In 1986 he joined the Metropolitan Police in London, and upon passing out from the Police Training College at Hendon he requested a posting to Soho, in the West End of London. Here he served on the beat in Soho, St.James’s and Mayfair. He also served in Brixton. He gained valuable experience as a detective in the Crime Squad based at West End Central. He ended his service with the Met. as a Community Beat Officer for South Soho. In 1994 he transferred to Merseyside Police. Here he requested a posting to Birkenhead and served there for 8 years. He was then moved to Special Branch at HQ. As a Special Branch Detective his skills and experience earned him a place as a Police Bodyguard. He qualified as a Fire Arms Officer with a 98% accuracy pass. Protecting visiting VIP’s such as Her Majesty the Queen, Prime Minister Tony Blair and His Holiness the Dalia Lama. He received a Chief Superintendents Commendation on 31st August 2004 for Bodyguarding. He later resigned from the Police Force to follow his passion as a martial arts instructor.
Mr Sharkey began his martial arts training at the age of 11 in 1976, with Sifu Mike Lavender. He was taught Lau Gar Kung Fu, at St. Luke’s Church Hall in Wallasey. He later met Sifu Jimmy Chan of Liverpool’s China Town, when he was 14 and trained with him in the Hung Gar Kung Fu. Assisted, by Sifu Ray Bullock. Upon joining the Army in 1981 he learned Boxing and Judo. Then, upon a posting to West Germany he took up Tae Kwon Do. Upon returning to London he trained in Thai Boxing at the Queen Mothers Sports Centre, Victoria. A spell of Wing Chun Kung Fu with Master Austin Goh, Golden Palm Kung Fu, Judo and Tae Kwon Do. He was taught Taekwondo by Master Fran Plunkett, 6TH Dan a former World Champion, in South London. This was a defining moment when he fell in love with Taekwondo. A chance meeting a year later had him studying under the Kyokushinkia Karate legend Shihan Steve Arneil in Raynes Park, London. Also at this time he attended Kyusho Jutsu seminars under Sensei Vince Morris. Who taught him a lot about Karate Katas hidden secrets. And once left him paralyzed with a vital point strike! Whilst under Master Plunkett he was awarded his first Black Belt by Grand Master Hee Il Cho of Hawaii. Upon returning to Birkenhead in 1994 he trained mainly with Gary Sandland, the World Kickboxing Champion. He also practiced Kuk Sool Won for a while, with Mr.Dawson in Liverpool. But his first love was Taekwondo, so he was soon traveling to train with the best. His regular training nights were at Leeds University and Doncaster under Master Kim Stones. Then Shrewsbury, under Master George Coburn. Plus private tuition, under World Champion Tony Sewell in Derby. During this time he had opened his own Taekwondo School, at Bebington High School in June 1995. He invited the best instructors in the UK to come and teach his students. Notably Master Ted Hopwood 9th Dan. Plus Master Frank Murphy, Fran Plunkett, Tony Sewell, Alan Sparks and Clive Harrison. A golden time. His students won the 1996 National Coloured Belts Team Championships in Derby. While he represented Shrewsbury and drew in the finals of the 1997 British Black Belt Teams Championships, in Birmingham. In 1997 he became a private student of his childhood instructor Master Ray Bullock. Who taught him Chen and Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. An invaluable period of his life. He also trained as a private student of Alastair Kirby in Wing Tsun Kung Fu. He traveled to the USA to train with Bill Wallace and Mike Kanarek. Then Hong Kong to train Master Matthew Ip. He trained privately with Mike Gregory in Jeet Kune Do, in Leigh for a year. The most pivotal point of his career was awakening to the reality fighting philosophy of legendary Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine. After being tested by Peter Consterdine Steve joined the British Combat Association, as an instructor. Here he was educated about Street Fighting. He was also practicing Kaizendo Kickboxing under Master Frank Murphy and travelled to London every weekend for private tuition. Master Murphy opened his eyes to new ways of teaching traditional arts. In 2004 Grand Master Greg Silva of Clearwater, Florida awarded him the title of Professor of Martial Arts. Steve declined the award, until prompted to accept it by his Chief Instructor, Master Frank Murphy 7th Dan. Steve then resigned from the Police in 2004 to become a professional martial arts instructor. In 2006 he earned his 4th Degree Black Belt under Master Frank Murphy at Birkenhead Town Hall, viewed by all his students. A very demanding experience, and a grading he expected he wouldn’t be able to complete. . In 2010 Master Sharkey completed 6 months training under the legendary Geoff Thompson and was awarded a Level 1 Self Defence Instructors Diploma. He completed the 10,000 punch challenge. He also graduated as a qualified Tai Chi instructor under Dr. Paul Lam of Australia. In 2012 Steve began training with Maria Yuen in Chester, studying Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan.
In December of 2012 he tested to 5th Dan by Master Frank Murphy. As part of the test he was asked to run from Chester to Birkenhead, 20 miles, with only two days notice. Having only ever run 10 miles when he was 18, he was unsure if he could complete the task. But the run was not the test, but rather the attitude of his response, when the request was made. He completed the run without mishap or stopping. He later went on to his 5th Dan grading in front of all his students at Birkenhead Town Hall in December 2012.
He now focuses on developing and simplifying his teachings and syllabus in Martial Arts Concepts.
In November 2014 Steve was training in Bagua Zhang, the Chinese combat system of the old Chinese Imperial Bodyguard in the Forbidden City. With Liverpools Ian Cooper, every Saturday. In the Calderstone Park, for a 4 hour session, come hail, rain or snow.
Steve now trains in Guided Chaos, under his mentor Adrian Smith of Chorley. Guided Chaos is an advanced fighting system designed to work without cognitive impairment. Thinking in a real fight slows you down. Nothing compares with Guide Chaos.
After 40 years of studying under some of the finest Masters in the World and in such a diverse range of systems Steve is still as keen today, as he has always been, to spread the wisdom he’s been gifted with and to empower decent people.
He feels very blessed to have had so many great teachers and so many great students.