Rick Jackson 8th Dan

Sensei Rick Jackson was born in Rugby in 1951 and began his Karate journey in March 1966 at the Coventry Shotokan Karate Club under the tutelage of Sensei Andy Sherry and Alan Smith. From here Sensei Jackson proceeded to grade for shodan under Sensei Kanazawa whilst he was stationed in Germany and serving with the British Armed Forces. However it was not until 9.15pm on the 5th April of 1973 that Sensei Jackson began to truly realise his dream and along with £300 in his pocket he arrived in Tokyo, Japan.  Several years of JKA Honbu training and a Ni Dan award from Master Nakayama later Sensei arrived back in the UK however the lessons learnt and the experience gained have set the foundation stones of his training ever since. For more details on these years please see Karate Training the Japanese way ! parts 1 through 3 Fighting Arts back issues ……http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Products/Pages/fai.htm or ask Sensei Simon Bligh to read his copies.

Time was spent in the KUGB national squad fighting alongside and against some of the most famous names of Shotokan karate however the last 40 years of training has been spent walking the way and teaching his students at Leicester University. In 2002 Sensei Jackson was awarded his 8th Dan by the AMA and EKGB. Sensei Jackson is not only an outstanding teacher but he is the very embodiment of Karate Do as he walks the way each and every day of his life.

Scott Langley 7th 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.

Matt Pain 6th Dan

Matt started his martial arts training with Judo as a kid in 1980 before changing to Goshin Ryu Karate in 1982 and gaining his black belt in 1987.  After a break in training due to injury he took up Tang Soo Do in 1988 before going to the University of Leicester in 1990.

Here Matt's Shotokan training began under Rick Jackson Sensei and continues to this day.  This transformed his view of karate and martial arts.  He became the University club captain and upon graduating spent 15 months of the next 3 years training full time.  In 1994-96 whilst studying for an MSc and then teaching at Birmingham University he was a member of the KUGB.  As well as training and teaching at the University club he regularly trained at various KUGB dojos throughout Birmingham including: Benson, Kaizen, with Ronnie Christopher Sensei, on squad sessions taught by Frank Brennan Sensei, and back in Leicester with Rick Jackson Sensei.

Inspired to merge his passion for karate with his academic studies in 1996 Matt travelled to the United States to Penn State University to study for a PhD in Biomechanics.  Here he trained in Okinawan Isshin Ryu with Dane Sutton Sensei, eventually reaching the rank of 3rd dan, whilst continuing his Shotokan training in the ISKF with the help of the Williamsport ISKF.  He trained with Okazaki Sensei, and many senior ISKF instructors at camps and the Philadelphia dojo and helped set up a Shotokan club at Penn State, although all the hard work was done by his friend JD Swanson.

Matt, or Dr Pain as he was now officially!!, returned to the UK in 2000 as a lecturer in Biomechanics at Loughborough University and joined the Loughborough University karate club.  He also returned to regular weekly training with Rick Jackson Sensei, which for many years has included learning Japanese sword.  He trained at and helped teach at both University clubs, but since 2016 he has focussed on training and helping teach at the University of Leicester club.

Matt continues to regularly attend seminars in the UK and USA, including the Hoitsugan seminars, train wherever he can when travelling, and teach wherever when he can’t get away with just training.

Paul Uren 6th 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/

Justin Beattie 5th 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.

Simon Bligh 5th Dan - HDKI GB Technical Director

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.

Mike Burgess 5th Dan

I took up Karate training with Sensei Jackson in September 1996, just after I started my University degree in Leicester. From the first moment I first saw Sensei in action I decided to commit myself fully to the study of Karate. I trained at every available session and summer course and was awarded my 1st Dan after three years.

I consider myself very fortunate to train regularly with such a unique and committed instructor – and for this reason I have never sought training elsewhere. Every year Sensei runs a one week intensive course in the summer which truly pushes students to the limit, both spiritually and physically. To date I have attended nineteen courses and currently hold the grade of 5th Dan. Over the years I have seen the introduction of, and evolution of what Sensei calls Fudochi Shotokan karate and it continues to be an amazing experience. Through the staff Well Being programme at the hospital where I work, I established a small Karate class which has several dedicated members, some of which have transitioned to the University club. This class runs once a week and has given me the chance to practice teaching styles and pass on what I have learnt. Foremost in my mind is the need to impart Zazen sitting and mental discipline as these are the aspects of Karate which I believe are most easily forgotten.

In 2004, I inquired with Sensei whether he would consider teaching me the art of Japanese sword. He agreed and for several years I was his only student, first receiving bokken instruction in one-to-one classes and eventually progressing to practice with Katana. Today, we have a class of seven sword students and I am very honoured to currently hold the title of Senpai for this class. In my career as a swordsman I have successfully trained one new member from complete beginner to the point where they joined the sword class. I believe very strongly the study of the sword has accelerated my depth and appreciation for the way of Karate.

Martin Lindley 5th Dan

Martin started training in Shotokan karate in North Wales with the KUGB in 1983 aged 12 and owes his attitude towards training to his first club instructor Sensei Ray Cooper and regional instructor Sensei Frank Cope (Birkenhead).

Since his early formative years Martin trained with a number of instructors and clubs both in the UK and more recently the USA (Bloomington IN) as well as taking several trips to train in Japan at a number of different Honbu Dojos. Martin has trained alongside notable instructors of Shotokan karate --Kanazawa, Yahara, Isaka, O’Neil, Kagawa, Uble and Langley. Martin has also trained and gained instructor status in number of different martial arts, in particular Yang style Tai Chi Chuan (William CC Chen lineage) but also Ba Gua Chan as well as San Soo Kung fu. It is traditional Shotokan karate, however, that has been the backbone of Martin’s training for over thirty years.

Moving back to the UK in 2006 to continue his academic career (Doc Martin) at Loughborough University in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Martin joined the Loughborough University karate club with Tom Martin and through this was introduced to Sensei Rick Jackson based at Leicester University. Since then Martin has trained under Sensei Jackson in both Karate and Sword and continues to be inspired, awed and pushed to both physical and spiritual limits on a daily basis. Now a 5th Dan under Sensei Jackson, Martin strives to continue on his path of learning and becoming a better human being through the furnace of martial training.

Martin owes a huge debt to the many karate sensei and martial instructors he has had the honour of training under. However, Sensei Ray Cooper allowed him to begin his journey in 1983 and Sensei Rick Jackson has shown him the path to walking the way and to these two great men he would like to say Domo Arigato Goziamus. I am forever standing on the shoulders of giants.

Jean Wong 5th Dan

Sensei Jean Wong is a Senior partner in a Leicestershire GP surgery with a registered special interest in Sports Medicine. Sensei Wong began her Karate adventures in 1996 in Malaysia before arriving the following year in Leicester Uni Medical School and finding Sensei Jacksons Dojo. So inspired was she that she handed her coloured belt in and took up a white belt to begin her basics again and so start her long journey of walking the way. Currently Sensei Jean is a 5th Dan under Sensei Jackson and alongside training several times a week (and teaching Saturday morning classes) she is a senior student in Sensei Jacksons sword class.

Sensei Wong has trained under a number of very well known karate instructors, notably spending 3 months in Liverpool at the red triangle KUGB club working under Sensei’s Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton and Frank Brennan whilst more recently spending time training with Sensei Steve Uble over in San Diego.

Sensei Wong is an ever present in the Dojo and at the annual summer course and will usually accompany Sensei Jackson on the courses that he teaches showing that size, stature and physical strength are not as important as the spirit inside.

Stuart Amos 4th Dan

Stuart began his training at around the age of 6/7 under Sensei Linden Huckle. Quickly falling in love with Karate, Stuart decided from an early age that he was going to dedicate his life to the martial arts.
Being brought up on stories of the Karate Union of Great Britain, Stuart made it his goal in life to move to Liverpool and train at the infamous Red Triangle Dojo. In 2011, he fulfilled his dream and moved up north. The training with the KUGB was everything he wanted it to be; formidable, dynamic and technically brilliant, and he was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the KUGB England Squad selection. In 2012 he was selected onto the team and began competing as part of the squad, achieving success at national and international events on numerous occasions.
In 2018, Stuart fulfilled his second Karate dream, which was to train in Japan. Travelling with a group of like-minded friends, Stuart flew to Tokyo where he trained at the Hombu Dojos of the JKA and the SKIF. This was a game-changing moment for Stuart as it highlighted how to take his Karate to the next level.
Still teaching and training in Liverpool, Stuart is still as passionate about his Karate as he has ever been and is looking forward to bringing that passion with him into the HDKI.

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.

Jason Cunningham 4th Dan

Jason Cunningham has been training in Shotokan Karate since 1992, where at the tender of age of 4 he began training with the JKA/KUGB under Sensei Robin and Val Dale in Crawley. Jason achieved his Shodan and Nidan under Enoeda Sensei in 1998 and 2000, and subsequently achieved his Sandan and Yondan under the auspices of the KUGB.

Jason is an avid student of karate, over the years he has been fortunate enough to train under some great instructors; Enoeda Sensei, Kanazawa Sensei, Yahara Sensei, Sensei Bob Rhodes, Sensei Billy Higgins, Sensei’s Jimmy and Frank Brennan, Sensei Hartford, Sensei Price and Sensei Maclaren to name a few; and strives to continually learn and evolve his own karate. Jason has a particular interest in oyo bunkai and the utilisation of karate for self defence.

Jason started Seishin Karate Clubs in 2009 at the University of Brighton and the club has gone from strength to strength, now with two Brighton dojo. Jason is excited about the opportunities to contribute to the HDKI and continue to develop as a karateka.

Chrissie Howard 4th Dan

Chrissie has been training since the 1980’s, predominantly in Shotokan – but with experience in Tae Kwondo, Kyoshu Jitsu, unarmed combat and control and restraint.   She started her Shotokan training under the instruction of Shiro Asano Sensei (then S.K.I).  Chrissie gained her Shodan in 1988 aged 15, under the instruction of Aidan Trimble Sensei (F.S.K), started competing internationally, at the age of 17 – entering her first World Championships in Las Vegas.  She had a great deal of success regionally, nationally and internationally – bringing home a gold medal from Los Angeles in 1993 (by now a Nidan) and gaining many National titles.

Upon coming home from the World Championships in Los Angeles, Chrissie opened her first Dojo.  She continue to seek what she considered to be the best instruction for herself and she has never lost the desire for self improvement.  Chrissie has trained with quite a number of very reputable Sensei such as: Suzuki, Asano, Otto, Otha, Aidan Trimble, Scott Langley, Richard Amos, Terry O’Neil, Bob Rhodes, Dave Hazard,  Andy Sherry and Frank Brennan, to name but a few.

For many years Chrissie formed part of the FSK GB Squad and trained at regular squad sessions with Ticky Donovan Sensei and was selected by him for the GB squad, but sadly due to a lack of her own funds had to discontinue training with him at the numerous different locations (never close to home) and never got to compete for him.

She gained her 3rd Dan in 1996 and her 4th Dan in 2018.

Chrissie Opened HDKI Exeter Dojo July 2017.

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.

Neill Cook 3rd Dan

I started Karate around 1977-78 in South East London, and experimented for a year or so with a variety of styles (Zen Shin Ryu, Kyukushinkai , Wado Ryu and Sankukai ) until I discovered Shotokan, under the guidance of Sensei Ray Fuller and his Thames Karate Association. I moved to Essex in the early 80's and joined the KUGB club on Canvey Island and was fortunate enough to train under a number of great Sensei, Sensei Sherry was our Grading examiner at the time and the club sensei included Alan Parrish, Dave Vaughn and Richard Amos to name a few. 

I took my Shodan at Crystal Palace in 1981, and Nidan in 1983. 

We were very successful in KUGB and all style competitions and were regularly placed in the top of the Southern region championships.

In 1999 I moved again to a small village called Burnham on Crouch  where I inherited the club and have been teaching ever since. I took my Sandan with Steven Roberts of Tokonkai in 2011.

We  joined the HDKI association 1 year ago and I was lucky enough to win the HDKI 'old boys' championship in October 2018!

Angie Gasperini 3rd Dan

Angie Gasperini Sensei HDKI Crawley.

Angie began training aged 7 in Sardinia and is currently Sandan ( 2003) .Her early training was in her hometown but she trained with Kase, Kanazawa, Enoeda and Naito Sensei’s on many courses.

From 1988 to 2003 she trained with Shirai Sensei.

Part of the Sardinian Karate Team  she competed in kata and kumite .

Now living in Crawley she has her own Personal Training business,  and HDKI dojo.

In addition to physical training she specializes in health diets and well being.

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.

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.

Simon Shepherd 3rd Dan – HDKI GB General Manager

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. In 2019 Simon became the General Manager for HDKI GB.

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 and subsequently follow Scott to the HDKI with her fellow karate-ka Aimee Morris. She is looking forward to what the future will bring and is confident that with the support from the HDKI her club will go from strength to strength.

John Viney 3rd Dan

Whilst serving with the Royal Navy John joined a ship that was based in Chatham Kent, on joining her he met a mess mate who did Kyokushinkai  karate, John asked him if he could go along. This was back in 1970, he trained as much as sea deployments allowed. On leaving the navy in 1975 he returned to Birmingham, first training with Sensei Eddie Daniels Shukokai, but he could not settle, he took a break to concentrate on a career in a different uniform.

In 1983 he found a KUGB Dojo which a very good friend trained at, it was run by Sensei Bob Hudson Shodan, Unfortunately he then had to move with his job, so had to find another Dojo, yet again it was KUGB run by Sensei Sid Gordon 3rd Dan.  In 1986 he graded to Shodan under the watchful eyes of Sensei’s  Enoeda, Sherry and Brennan.

In 1987 he had to move with his job again, this time there were no Dojos so he let his training slip, until he went to Cyprus to live.  This was where he met Sensei Charalambous 5th Dan WSKF, and in 2012 he gained his 2nd Dan while still living in Cyprus. On returning to the UK, he moved to Lincoln, finding a dojo a 5 minute drive from where he lived, this was JKS. He trained there for a few years but decided he needed to move on, remembering his dear friend Jenny Cameron was training with Simon Bligh Sensei of the HDKI and with Sensei Scott Langley.

He asked if he could join and was told “of course”, since joining HDKI, he graded to 3rd Dan on the 6th of December 2019 under the very watchful eyes of Sensei Scott Langley, plus 6 other senior Sensei.  He also passed the examination to become a kyu grade examiner, and the first part of the judges exam.

His grading in December was a strange affair, having to remove his hearing aids as he kept getting an echo, then he was asked to remove his glasses for kumite, Scott Sensei asked if he had anything else to remove; “only my wooden leg” he replied.

Sandra Carr 2nd Dan

Sandra is one of two instructors at Sanjo Karate, Preston.  

Her Karate journey commenced in 1991 and trained regularly for 3 years gaining 3rd Kyu grade. However, after a short break (initially for GCSE’s) but ended up nearly 15 years, she restarted her karate career with a husband and 2 children in tow, as the ‘Carr’ family entered Preston Karate Dojo together as a unit in 2008. 

Sandra trained 3-5 times per week for the next 3 years, represented her club and ITKA GB squad, and gained successful medal places at regular Regional, National and European level competitions such as the JKS European Championships in Ireland and the Malta Open, before grading to Shodan in August 2011. 

Sandra and her family left Preston Karate in 2012 to join USKA Burnley under Nick Keys Sensei, where Sandra continued training hard, competing and placing regularly for the AMA National Squad. In May 2013, with her husband John Carr USKA Preston was born, until Feb 2014 where it was renamed Sanjo Karate (an amalgamation of both names). 

In Feb 2015 Sanjo Karate joined the WTKO under the watchful eye of Scott Langley Sensei and Simon Bligh Sensei and for the next 2 years, Sandra managed to train with various World Class Instructors at several courses and camps and successfully managed to place at the WTKO European Championships in Kumite. 

After a gruelling and tough grading in October 2016, Sandra proudly achieved Nidan alongside her husband, and in January 2017 Sandra, along with her family and other members of the WTKO association, (GB headed by Scott Langley Sensei and Simon Bligh Sensei) had the extraordinary opportunity to visit, explore and train in Japan with many famous Japanese Sensei.  

Sandra is a proud HDKI member and active National Squad Member, as well as a Full Time NHS nurse and Community Nurse Prescriber.

Nick Chambers 2nd Dan

Nick started training at the age of 5 under Les Knight at Tividale Shotokan Karate Club. He achieved his 1st Dan at the age of 18 and proceeded to achieve his 2nd Dan in 2014.

Over the years he has trained with top instructors including Scott Langley, Rick Hotton and many others. He has also competed in a various range of competitions including the first HDKI national competition.

He started Kurokoku Shotokan in 2017 training students from the age of 5 up to the age of 45. Training along beside him in his club are also his two daughters.

As Nick has made a strong bond with Black Country Shotokan, he has decided to join them in training under HDKI in 2018 and is looking forward to the future ahead.

Becky Cox-Symonds 2nd Dan

Becky first started training in Shotokan Karate as a junior at Plymouth Karate Club in 1992. She progressed to brown belt and also enjoyed some early competition success but stopped training as a teenager. Becky re-discovered karate as an adult and trained under Paul Uren Sensei at Plymouth Karate-Do as well as training at TSKU’s University of Reading Karate Club whilst at University. Becky obtained shodan on her 21st birthday (2005) and graded to nidan under Scott Langley Sensei in 2017.

In addition to progressing through the grades and attending courses whenever possible, Becky also enjoys competing and has added considerable complimentary fitness work to her training which has contributed to her competition success. To support this additional training, Becky has successfully obtained sponsorship from the Everyone Active Sporting Champions Scheme.

Becky has proudly represented her club and association at numerous national and international championships and as well as being selected for national squads, is currently HDKI Great Britain’s national squad Captain.

Among her competition successes are individual and team gold medals in the senior women’s kumite (fighting) events at SEKU Nationals, SEKU Open, SKDUN Legend Open, HDKI GB National Open, HDKI Ireland Open, HDKI Open Female Championships and most recently, the JSKA England Open in February 2020. Becky has also started to see success in the senior women’s kata (pattern/form) events, winning gold medals in 2019 and 2020.

Using this experience and to continue with her karate journey and development, Becky was given the opportunity to teach classes at local HDKI clubs in Plymouth and Exeter as well as delivering training at squad classes in person and online. These opportunities presented a new challenge and inspired Becky to start teaching and building her own club at Tamerton Karate Club.

Paul Langley 2nd Dan

Paul Langley was born in Liverpool in 1965 and first started training at the age of 14, trying out different martial arts, from Shotokan karate to Kung Fu.

After serving in the RAF he settled in Lincoln and began karate He joined BSKI and Tokon Shotokan Karate Dojo, training with Darren Payne Sensei and graded to Shodan (1st Dan) under Charles Gidley Sensei. Whilst training with Darren Sensei he won at several Lincoln Karate opens, gold medal at team kumite, silver medal at individual kumite and silver medal at individual kata. It was during this time that he got back in touch with his cousin Scott Langley and started to attend Karate seminars under Scott’s tuition.

In 2011 he joined the JKS and Shogai Karate Dojo. It was at this time that he met Simon Bligh Sensei, who was running Shogai Karate Dojo  In 2012 he went to Japan with Scott Langley Sensei for kangeiko (cold weather training) at the JKS Hombo Dojo in Tokyo, Yagi Sensei’s dojo and Sato Sensei’s dojo in Sapporo, Hokkaido. He continued to improve and develop his Karate. He passed his Nidan (2nd Dan) in March 2014 .

In September 2017 he joined the HDKI, following Simon Bligh and Scott Langley and became assistant Instructor at Simon’s Shogai Karate dojo.

Paul continues to develop and improve both his Karate and that of his students, through the teachings of Simon and Scott Sensei’s. The philosophy of Budo ‘the constant search for personal improvement’.

Daniel Walsh Shodan

Dan was born in Cleveland Ohio and until the age of 24 grew up in rural eastern Ohio in “Amish Country”. At the age of 24 as a result of a severe car accident resulting in two dislocated shoulders, a dislocated hip, partially severed knee cap tendon and two cracked vertebrae, dan took up ballet classes as part his physical therapy. As a complete fluke, that led to him being accepted into a local prestigious performing arts college in the aptly named Painesville, Ohio. During his study for a BFA in fine performing arts he danced for several small companies and eventually as premier dancer for Ohio Light Opera Company as well as a decent stage acting career and singing in musicals and light opera productions.  That led him to an acting career including 3 years touring with The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, television and film spots and more stage acting in London. Having exhausted that career, and after a second almost identical car accident in England, dan took up ultra-distance running clocking up approx. 35,000 career miles training and carrying out ultra-distance events in many countries around the world to raise money for children’s charities and hunger issues. His charity vehicle for those events is responsible for raising circa £2 million.

His Karate career began as a gift to himself for his 50th birthday, in 2008, as he decided to move away from the long-distance running that had defined most of his athletic life up until that point. Having seen his son at karate training at an after school club, his son’s particularly energetic and switched on instructor, Sensei Tony Cronk (JKA) invited him to try karate. He decided that Karate was a physical pursuit that he connected with; athletically, due to his long career in running, artistically, due to his previous involvement in ballet, and ideologically. This fresh start at a turning point in his life has now lead to him starting his own dojo, and to commence teaching others the art of Karate-Do a mere 10 years since its inception in his own life. Despite this being a relatively short period of experience for a sensei, Dan believes that he can make up for what others might call a lack of knowledge with his own experiences from previous endeavours; namely, bringing in training ideas from the world of ultra-marathons, classical ballet and stage performance to inform the way he teaches karate to those who train at his dojo. The dojo will officially open on August 8th, this year to mark his 60th birthday. All are welcome and there are no excuses good enough for him. Karate and Karate Do is for everyone.

Gamabate  (try your best)