James started Taekwondo at the Pilsung Crosspool club in 2003 under the guidance of Dave Higgins and Andy Poulton. After gaining his 1st Kup in 2008 he took some time out to further his studies at Leeds Metropolitan University .

After successfully graduating and pursuing his career options James was ready to return to the Crosspool club where he started now run by his father Steve Shirtliff.

2017-2018: He increased his training at Pilsung Crosspool & Walkey under Andy Poulton, Ian Murphy, Steve Shirtliff and Martin Elliott eventually graduating to 1st Dan in 2018.

2018-2019: Carried on training and gaining more experience eventually gaining his Black Belt 2nd Dan.

His next goal is to pass on his knowledge and experience as an assistant instructor at Pilsung Crosspool.