Scott Langley, 6th Dan

Scott has been practising martial arts since the age of 5, however, he started his karate career proper in 1986 under the instruction of Howard Milson, a senior member of Kodokai and one of the very few 5th dans in the UK at the time. Scott trained hard with Howard and Kato Sensei and gained shodan in 1992. After travelling to Japan with Kato Sensei in 1993, Scott started university in Staffordshire and trained on a daily basis with him.

During this time he assisted Kato Sensei teaching around the UK and Europe. Scott also competed regularly; winning, both in kata and kumite, the National Championships five times, European Championships three times, and the 1996 JKA World Championships in Moscow. Building on this success, Scott travelled once more to Japan in 1997 and started to train full time at the JKA (Asai fraction) Hombu dojo.

Under constant pressure from the instruction of Asai, Abe, Yahara, Kagawa, Isaka, Yamaguchi etc, Scott went from strength to strength and in 1998 was asked to enter the instructor’s course. Unfortunately, an injured knee prevented this, so after considerable rehabilitation, Scott, along with Yasuhisa Inada, entered the course in 2000 and became the first instructor’s course class of the newly formed Japan Karate Shotorenmei. Two intensive years later, Scott graduated from the course and became the fifth non-Japanese person ever to do so (JKA/JKS).

Feeling it was time to move on and encouraged by the hombu dojo to develop JKS karate, Scott moved to Ireland. From 2002 until 2013 Scott was the Technical Director of the JKS GB & Ireland and the Chief Instructor of JKS Ireland’s Hombu Dojo. In that time the group grew from 4 clubs to 120 clubs, making it the biggest single style group in the British Isles. His own club also grew from the initial 8 members that showed up on the first night, to over 500 members and four full time instructors.

Scott is the bestselling author of Karate Stupid and Karate Clever.  He is a founder member of Hombu Dojo Karate International and Chief Technical Director of the group.

Simon Bligh, 5th Dan

Simon Bligh was born in 1960 and has been training in Shotokan Karate since 1974, where he started in his hometown of Liverpool. After relocating to London, he spent many years as a member of Enoeda Sensei`s famous Marshall St Dojo. In 1990-1991 he spent a year living and working in Japan and whilst there continued his training at the JKA Hombu Dojo in Tokyo.

In 2004 he joined the JKS and has been a big contributor to the success of JKS in England. He has a wealth of experience in Shotokan Karate and believes in "Karate for everyone, for all your life". Simon is also a full time comedian and as such his teaching style is very enjoyable and relaxed whilst still delivering top quality karate. He is now Technical Director of HDKI Great Britain.

Ash Hawkes 5th Dan

Born 1967 Ash Hawkes started training in various Dojos at the age of 8 years in and around Luton, Bedfordshire. Training under Instructors such as John Van Weenen then Colin Williams, and Julius George. He achieved Shodan in 1983. In his late 20s, after a break from Dojo training due to serious back injury, with his son Jason, he joined a Dojo in Luton and began training again, from the START! The training at that time was under I.A.S.K Licensed under EKGB. In 1997 under Robert Sidoli Sensei Ash joined the JKA UK where he continued to grade and train under experienced Shotokan Instructors. In competition Ash gained title for the JKA UK in Kata & Kumite competing in Holland and in 1998 at the British Open Shotokan Karate Tournament in Bracknell, Berks. He has also competed for the JKA UK 1999 in York.

Ash has received instruction from Julius George Sensei, Yahara Sensei, Van Weenen Sensei,Yoshikazu Sumi Sensei,Jan Knobel Sensei and, in the 90s and more recently Richard Amos Sensei and Shihan Hidetaka Narumi, Scott Langley Sensei, John Mullin Sensei, Scott Middleton Sensei, Kokuban Sensei and Steve Ubl Sensei.

Ash has also been accepted as a fellow of the International Shotokan-ryu Karate do Shihankai in the interest of preserving Traditional Shotokan Karate and maintaining a standard. Ash is the Kyu Grade Registration Officer and now the Business Director of HDKI GB.

Paul Uren 5th Dan

Born in 1975, Paul began training at age 7, and started as an assistant instructor when he was 15. He competed from a young age attaining junior and senior kumite and kata titles at association and squad level, including 3 individual senior SEKU kata titles and winning the technical excellence award. He achieved his current rank of 5th Dan in January 2011.

Paul started Plymouth Karate-Do in 1998, and has succeeded in supporting students of all ages and ability to achieve their goals. He strongly believes in helping others, both in physical improvement and personal development.

From 2005-2008 Paul was the SEKU senior squad kumite and kata coach, supporting the squad through a period great success at national and international level.

Paul has trained under many leading and inspiring Karate instructors all his life, from all over the world.

He recently started writing a Karate blog at: https://plymouthkaratedo.wordpress.com/

Steve Bailes 4th Dan

Steve started his martial arts in 1980 at the Twickenham Tae Kwon Do UKTA under Roger Koo, which was a great introduction to competing gaining South East championship medals in Kumite and Kata.

With a family move he then started Wado Ryu in 1990`s with the Southern Karate Wado Kai under Sensei Trevor McCabe 4th Dan then, Sensei McCabe was his mentor and taught him Shobu Ippon Kumite with successful medal places in the Southern region Championships and representing the SKW at European level.

He restarted in Shotokan Karate in 1999 with then the JKA UK which evolved into the JSKA UK affiliated direct to the JSKA Japan with Shihan Keigo Abe 9th Dan.  He then passed Shodan in 2002 and Nidan in 2004 with Shihan Sidoli .

In 2004 he opened the Blackwater Valley Shotokan Dojo.

2006 was a year competing in the JSKA World Championship in New York attaining a second place in Kumite in the Veteran division, further to this in 2007 he was invited to the KWF 5th World Cup in Japan with Robert Sidoli Sensei taking a 3rd place in Kumite at the Veterans Division.

In 2008 he graded to Sandan under Shihan Keigo Abe and the Shihankai at the JSKA World Championship in the centre of the Manchester Velodrome, and then taking D Class examiners, Instructors, and Referee under Shihan Keigo Abe in Germany.

In October 2010 they teamed up with Dave and Amanda Gisby to coach the JSKA UK team to the World Championships in Portugal competing and bringing home team medals including a 1st place in the Kumite Veterans division, Steve's personal best.

In 2011 the Fleet Dojo was opened.

In 2012 The Shotokan Karate Friendship Alliance was established breaking from the JSKA UK. With independence and time to reflect on the next direction they now have chosen the WTKO GB  to be their family.

The WTKO International Summer Camp 2015 saw Steve gain his Yondan from the panel of Sensei's John Mullin, Steve Ubl, Richard Amos, Scott Middleton and Scott Langley.

Justin Beattie 4th Dan

Justin started karate training in 1984 at the Grimsby Zanshin Karate club under the instruction of Derek Pritchard Sensei of the KUGB. Justin successfully completed his Shodan in 1988 with Enoeda Sensei at Crystal Palace.

During his time at the Zanshin Karate club Justin went on to win both regional and national titles.

Successive Dan grades have been taken with Kawazoe Sensei, Saito Sensei and Yahara Sensei.

Justin’s early karate inspiration came from training extensively with Kawazoe Sensei. He also trained regularly with Dave Hazard Sensei and Alistair Mitchell Sensei for many years enjoying the pragmatic approach that comes from these Instructors.

Opening his own dojo in 2007, Cleethorpes Shotokan Karate Club, Justin is also a professional Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. Justin both trains with and has coached members of the EKF squad preparing them for competition, looking at all aspects of training to enhance their performance.

Andrea Carbon 3rd Dan

Andrea Carbon is the Principal Instructor of Hadashi Senshi Do in Lancaster and senior instructor of Sanchin Karate Academy. Andrea began to study karate in 1987 with the Karate Union of Great Britain at Lancaster Red Rose Karate Club under the instruction of Norman Barrett. She started competing within her first 6 months of training and won her first title as an 8th Kyu in 1988, which was 1st place at the Cumbria Open. She continued to compete for over 10 years and has experienced success at club, regional and national levels. In 1992, she was awarded the grade of Shodan by Senseis Keinsouke Enoeda and Andy Sherry. Since then, she has trained with many masters both at home and abroad, the most influential to date being the late Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama.

Between 1997 and 2003, Andrea resided in the United States and it was during this period that she met 5th Dan and former US Senior International, Nina Chenault. Also, during this period, Andrea had the opportunity to train with Sensei Robert Fusaro, 8th Dan (ITKF), who was a senior student of Nishiyama Sensei and very much a pioneer in terms of the development of traditional Shotokan karate in America. Andrea cites her time with Chenault and Fusaro as changing the course of her karate training, which ultimately led her to Sensei Scott Langley and the JKS and now HDKI.

On her return to the UK, Andrea sought coaching accreditation with the KUGB and in 2006 she received the rank of Nidan. She served as associate instructor to Keith Robson, 5th Dan for a few years and then in 2010 assumed full responsibility for her own dojo, Hadashi Senshi Do in Lancaster. Andrea also has a post-graduate education and professional background in Youth Work and is interested in how martial arts can be used as a tool for youth leadership and development. She is also a keen advocate of fitness over the life-span and the martial arts as a vehicle for a healthy lifestyle. She is currently working on a specialised adaptive martial-arts fitness syllabus that specifically targets this particular population and other vulnerable groups. She is the Welfare and Child Protection Officer for HDKI GB.

Andrea gained her 3rd Dan on 15th February 2015 under Sensei Richard Amos.

Amanda Gisby 3rd Dan

Amanda started karate in Somerton Shotokan Karate Club in Somerset when she was 14.  After only 2 and a half years, with regular training 2 or sometimes 3 times a week, she graded for 1st kyu.

Joining the army took her away from karate but chance brought her back after a 15 year absence and she graded again for 1st kyu in 2001 under Sensei Stevan Harrison.  Back to enthusiastic and hard training she succeeded in gaining her Shodan in May 2002 and Nidan in 2004, both conducted by Sensei Robert Sidoli.

In January 2005 she and her husband Dave opened Ridgeway Shotokan Karate Club in Basingstoke.

In 2008 she graded to Sandan under Shihan Keigo Abe and the full JSKA Shihankai at the JSKA World Championship in Manchester.  Over the years she has had the privilege of training with many senior instructors including Sensei Enoeda, Sensei Ohta, Sensei Yahara, Sensei Frank Brennan and Sensei Tom Kompier to name a few.  She has also been a national coach and has officiated at international tournaments.

Dave Gisby 3rd Dan

Dave started karate at the tender age of 42 encouraged by his wife Amanda.  After 4 years of tireless dedication and work he graded for Shodan fulfilling the goal he set himself starting out.

In 2005 he and Amanda set up the Ridgeway Shotokan Karate Club in Basingstoke.  In 2006 he gained Nidan and in 2010 Sandan through JSKA.  In 2009 he was kata coach leading up to the JSKA World Championship in Portugal with his team winning 21 medals - one of the World Champion.  He personally achieved Silver in Mens Team Kata and Silver in Mixed Team Kata.

Over the years he has been privileged to train with many senior instructors including Sensei Enoeda, Sensei Ohta, Sensei Yahara, Sensei Sidoli and Sensei Frank Brennan to name but a few.

Believing that Age, Size, Physical Attributes or Fitness levels are not a disadvantage he pushes his students to be the best in all they do by encouraging firm goals and the Martial Spirit while delivering the highest calibre of training.

Bo Gort 3rd Dan

Bo Gort has been practising karate for nearly 20 years. She started training in her native country of The Netherlands and when she moved to Dublin, Ireland, she started training with Scott Langley (6th dan) at the Hombu Dojo.

As a member of the Irish national squad she fought in both the European and the World championships and trained in Japan at the JKS head quarters. She became a full time instructor at the Dublin Hombu Dojo in 2008 and set up many successful classes there. She relocated to the UK to set up Canterbury Karate which is flourishing and she is happy in Kent enjoying the beautiful countryside and the fresh air.

Jason Lee Hawkes 3rd Dan

Jason started training alongside his father in 1995 at the age of 4 years old, in Luton, Bedfordshire. At a young age he was successful in competitions representing the Japan Karate Association United Kingdom (JKA UK Asai faction).

In 1999 due to a family decision to move, Jason ceased training in Luton but continued training with his father at their new dojo in Devon. Jason achieved Shodan (1st Dan) in 2003, at the age of 12 under Dave Sharkey Sensei 8th Dan EKO.  He achieved Nidan (2nd Dan) in 2006 and Sandan (3rd Dan) in 2009.

Jason Teaches at Traditional Japanese Karate Dojos in South Devon and has proudly ran his own Dojo for five years. He is now looking forward to completing 21 years of training in Shotokan Karate and progressing in his own development. Jay is our HDKI GB Squad Captain.

Aimee Morris 3rd Dan

Aimee is one of two Principal instructors of Black Country Shotokan Karate club in the West Midlands. Aimee started training in 1994 aged 13, at a local Wado-Ryu club. However her uncle was training at a Shotokan club at the same time and convinced her to come along and give it try.

She officially started training at A.S.K.C in October '94. Three years later she achieved her 1st Dan under the M.B.K/ A.M.A with J.M.Flavell, and her 2nd Dan in 1999. She reached 3rd Dan in 2003 under the A.M.A. Aimee has trained for over 21 years, only taking a break when she had her two children.

During her time with A.S.K.C she had traveled the country training with various senior graded karate instructors including Rick Jackson Sensei, Terry O’Neill Sensei and George Best Sensei. She has also competed in national championships as part of the M.B.K. female team and individual kumite, winning various awards.

The turning point in her karate journey was when she trained under Scott Langley Sensei in 2014. It was then that she realised that there was something missing from her own karate. She had started to look outside of her own clubs teaching and attended courses which further broadened her
knowledge. After a discussion with her fellow karate-ka they decided to open up their own dojo, and decided the WTKO was the only way forward. And so began the Black Country Shotokan Karate Club.

Unfortunately due to their decision to join the WTKO their Sensei expelled them from A.S.K.C. After being affiliated with the WTKO for 18 months and having the opportunity to train with world class instructors she was faced with the hard decision of whether to follow Scott Langley, who had been asked to leave WTKO or stay with the group... As BCSK originally joined because of their relationship with Scott they decided to leave the WTKO and so became a member of HDKI. The group has continued to support BCSK and she feels that her karate and the karate of her students is in good hands. Onwards and upwards.

Danielle Woodward 3rd Dan

Danielle is one of two instructors at Black Country Shotokan Karate Club in the West Midlands. Danielle started training in 1997 aged 6 at Bradley Shotokan Karate Club with Wayne Hadley Sensei. Three years later Wayne Sensei suffered an injury and the club was passed to a new instructor who merged the club with his own and her training with A.S.K.C began.

One year later she went on to achieve her 1st Dan at the age of 10 under Dave Sharkey Sensei. She achieved 3rd Dan in 2014 after 18 years of training with a short break due to injury. During her time with A.S.K.C she has taken part in many courses including a weekend training seminar with Scott Langley Sensei. In 2014 she competed in a local competition winning 1st place in both kumite and kata and a trophy for best female all-rounder.

After a lot of thought the decision was made to open her own dojo- Black Country Shotokan, affiliated to the WTKO with her fellow karate-ka Aimee Morris. Unfortunately due to their decision to join the WTKO their Sensei expelled both of them from the A.S.K.C. However she is looking forward to what the future will bring and is confident that with the support from the WTKO her new club will go from strength to strength.

Sally Hawkes 2nd Dan

Sally has been training in Shotokan Karate for nearly 20 years now. She first saw Karate when her husband (Ash Hawkes) used to practice at home and she was captivated by it’s strangeness. She then wanted to learn the same from her Husband. However Ash thought it was best if she was taught by someone else and in 1997 Sally signed up to train with a local Karate Instructor in Luton, Bedfordshire. Sally then continued to train under the JKA UK until she reached 7th Kyu.

In 1999 she moved, with her family, to South Devon where she continued to train under the instruction of Ash Hawkes, this time under the auspices the E.K.O. (English Karate Organisation). In 2004 Sally took her Shodan under a panel of 3 Senior Instructors and passed with flying colors. Another 3 years would pass before Sally took her Nidan.

Sally is proud to be a member of the HDKI and she is integral to the running and decision making process within HDKI South West. Sally is currently training hard and Teaching most days through out the week. Sally is a Qualified Sports Therapist, Sports Nutritionist, Clinical Nutritionist and Hot Stone Masseuse!

Simon Shepherd 2nd Dan

Simon Shepherd started first his karate, aged 6, in 1978 in Manchester. Originally starting his karate with Shukokai Karate Union, Simon quickly excelled and received his Shodan a few years after that. Simon then moved from Shukokai to Shotokan karate, training across Manchester for many years at various clubs.

At the age of 18 years old, Simon completed his Nidan grading.  He then went to Manchester University and joined the infamous Manchester University Shotokan Karate club, under the tutilidge of Sensei Gary Hartford and, of course, became a member of the KUGB.

After graduation, Simon  moved to Liverpool where he spent, until very recently, his time training at Liverpool’s Red Triangle Karate Club, under senseis Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton and Frank Brennan.

Simon has been fortunate enough to compete at regional, national and European levels; winning many titles along the way. Not to mention, completing his instructor, judge and referee’s qualifications. He’s also been lucky enough to train under some of the great Japanese senseis over the years too.

He retired from competition aged 27 years old, having competed almost every week from the age of 11!

Simon moved down to Cheltenham 7 years ago and joined the Cheltenham Karate Club and before too long became it’s sensei following the retirement of Sensei Rob Bunting.