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 5<sup>th</sup> 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 ……<a href="http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Products/Pages/fai.htm">http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Products/Pages/fai.htm</a> 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.

Bob Rhodes 8th Dan

Bob Rhodes was born in Leeds, North Yorkshire on the 3rd of March 1946. At school, he participated in a variety of sports so it wasn’t till he was 20 that he took up karate. Bob decided to join Leeds Shotokan Karate Club, run at the time by international competitor Ronnie Wade.

Bob first competed as a green belt at the KUGB National Championships as a member of the Leeds team which came second. He won kata and kumite individual and team events several times at the Northern Region Championships. Bob achieved final positions in the KUGB Nationals for kata and kumite and was a member of the Leeds team which won in 1973. During this time Bob was chosen for the KUGB National Squad and his first event as an international competitor was The Yugoslavian Golden Belt Competition.

For several years Bob Rhodes was a member of both the KUGB National Squad, and the GB All Styles Squad which was made up of the best fighters chosen from different styles. While Bob was in the KUGB team, they were coached by sensei Enoeda who at the time was also the European Chief Instructor. The KUGB team was successful in winning many International and European championships, and participated in World championships. Bob was also a member of the KUGB team which won several times in the All Styles National Championships, and he achieved 2nd and 3rd in the individual kumite events.

For the GB all styles team, the coach was sensei Steve Arneil. Bob was successful with the kumite team coming first in many international events against countries including France, Japan and Sweden. He was also successful with the same team in European and World team kumite events . Bob’s international career culminated in victory when at the age of 29, he was part of the kumite squad that beat the Japanese to win the world championship in California in 1975.

After retiring from international competition, Bob was elected KUGB Northern Region Officer where he was responsible for organising competitions and courses as well as instructing and coaching the Northern Region Squad. Bob carried out the duties of this position for 15 years.

Bob Rhodes became one of the eight KUGB grading examiners in the 1970s qualifying to grade up to 1st Kyu. In 2004 Bob Rhodes was appointed as a black belt grading examiner, a position only held by 6 people in the UK at the time. He was also a member of the KUGB Technical Committee, responsible for discussing and making decisions on technical matters. Bob was awarded 7th Dan in 2005 and 8th Dan in 2014 by the KUGB.

Bob has had many teaching successes including being coach for the KUGB Scottish Squad for a year. Within his Leeds Shotokan Karate Club where he was chief instructor for more than 30 years, Bob coached and mentored many successful national, international and world competitors including Sean Roberts, Randolph Williams, Caroline Quansah, Vivian Roland, Nick Heald and Matthew Price.

Bob Rhodes is a qualified National, European and  World Championship Referee and has had the responsibility of refereeing the finals in many of these competitions.

Bob has taught at clubs and courses all over the country as well as abroad. Over many years he has developed an extensive interest in exploring and creating kata bunkai and oyo which he is often asked to teach on courses. He will continue for as long as he can to teach and impart the vast knowledge he has gleaned over a long and active career.

Scott Langley 7th Dan

Scott has been practicing 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.

Paul Dowell 6th Dan

Paul started training in 1983 at Sendai Karate Club in Sunderland under the instruction of Sensei Jeff Barwick. Instructors at the club also included senior England internationals Sensei Owen Murray, Sensei Christine Pullan, Sensei John Holdsworth and Sensei Julie Nicholson. Paul continues to train with Sensei Holdsworth and Nicholson at Ronin Karate Club in Washington.

Due to the high quality of instruction at the club Paul quickly progressed through his kyu grades and passed his Shodan grading in 1986 under Sensei Enoeda. Each Dan grading up to 4<sup>th</sup> Dan was also taken under Sensei Enoeda. Following Sensei’s untimely passing Paul graded to 5<sup>th</sup> and 6<sup>th</sup> Dan under Sensei Andy Sherry.

Paul competed regularly from a young age and was selected onto the Sendai senior team whilst still a junior competitor representing the club at National and Regional championships for many years. He was also a regular member of the KUGB Northern Region Squad under the instruction of Sensei Bob Rhodes.

As a member of the Sendai team Paul won medals at the National championships as well as individual success winning gold at the Shotokan cup. Due to his success as a competitor Paul was selected onto the KUGB Junior and Kata squads and represented the KUGB at several European championships winning gold and silver medals in both Kata and Kumite events. Paul was later selected onto the KUGB Senior squad and competed for many years at regional and national championships. Paul retired from competition in 2012 after winning the veterans kumite at the Northern region championships for the third successive year.

In 2012 Paul founded his own branch of Ronin Karate Club based in Seaham, Co. Durham. He continues to train with Sensei Holdsworth and Nicholson at Washington and maintains strong ties with his first Sensei, Jeff Barwick.

Paul is also a qualified gym instructor and sports massage therapist. Working in gyms for over 20 years Paul has taught a wide variety of health and fitness-based subjects which he tries to incorporate into his karate sessions.

John Holdsworth 6th Dan

John was born on the 1st August 1947 in Sunderland and has been training in Karate for 55 years. John started training in January 1966 at the Sunderland Shotokan Karate Club. His reason for starting Karate was that he was constantly bullied at school as he was quite small and did not fully grow until after he left school.

The Club at Sunderland was being taught by a 2nd Dan Judo practitioner mostly from a book by Sensei Nishiyama. The club had graded previously and the highest grades were three 8th Kyu’s. The first grading was by sensei Kanazawa and John jumped to 7th Kyu and the current 8th Kyu’s graded to 7th Kyu. Shortly after the Judo instructor left the club which left John and the other three 7th Kyu’s the highest grades and they shared the instruction between them. John has been teaching ever since.

Grading’s at this time were difficult due to a lack of instructors who only visited the club between four and six months. There were a number of difficulties over the early years as a result of the limited instruction available and John has learnt a Kata on a Saturday and used it at a grading the next day on more than one occasion.

John passed his first Dan with Sensei  Enoeda at the Newcastle YMCA on the 15th August 1971. Before taking his 1st Dan grade John had never seen a Dan grading, had never been informed what to do on the grading, and had never seen any grading syllabus which made things a little difficult.

He established the Sendai Karate Club in Sunderland in 1969 at the Y.M.C.A. which later moved to the Crowtree Leisure Centre in Sunderland. John’s tournament success includes 35 1st places, in Kata, Kumite and Team events and over 35 top four placings in various Shotokan and all style events.

He was previously a Senior Instructor with the KUGB, a Grading Examiner, a KUGB Assessor for instructors qualifications and Referee and regularly instructs at clubs throughout the country.

John and his wife Julie Nicholson run the Ronin Karate Club in Washington in the North East of England. John’s main interests are coaching and studying coaching methods and principals, and currently coaches a number of individuals, and with his wife has attended numerous National Coaching Foundation courses. He has lectured and written articles for magazines on a variety of subjects such as nutrition, mental preparation, coaching children, error correction, periodization and peak performance.

In 1999 he guided his wife, Julie Nicholson, to achieve her dream which was to be the first woman to win the Double at the Shotokan Cup and repeated the same in 2001 at the KUGB National Championships and become the first Grand Champion, in winning both the Individual Kata and Kumite events. Johns senior students have achieved numerous national and international honours including 2 World Kata titles, 2 European Kumite titles, 3 European Kata titles, 5 Nakayama Cup Kata titles, 5 National Team Kumite titles, 5 National Team Kata titles 16 National Kata titles, 15 Shotokan Cup Kata titles, 3 Shotokan Cup Kumite tiles, 3 National Kumite titles and numerous national titles at Junior level.

John’s firm belief is that quality training is the most important and all techniques should be studied in depth to ensure they are executed correctly. Repeated practice does not make things perfect, it makes things permanent. Only perfect “quality” practice makes perfect. Simply repeating techniques that are incorrect ingrains bad habits and should be avoided.

Julie Nicholson 6th Dan

Julie was born in Jarrow, Tyne & Wear on 12th November 1964.  She began her karate training in January 1975 at the Sendai Karate Club in the YMCA, Sunderland under the guidance of Sensei John Holdsworth and Sensei Jeff Barwick.  Julie started training with her Father Tommy, who mentioned that he was going to start Karate, Julie did not have a clue what it was but it sounded good so asked if she could join.  As Tommy thought she might be too young and too small to join (she was 9 at the time) he kept her out of the way when they went to enroll saying she was a few years older.  She was 10 when they did eventually join, as they had to wait approximately 4 months for a new beginner’s class to start, the demand was so high at the time.  She passed her 1st Dan in November 1977 under Sensei Enoeda and Sensei Sherry.

Julie began competing in 1976 and was an active member of the KUGB National Squad from 1983 until 2000 when she retired from International Competition.

Julie’s competition successes include:
WSKA World Championships - Ladies Individual Kata - 1st place (1999)
WSKA World Championships – Ladies Individual Kumite - 3rd place (1999)
WSKA World Championships – Ladies Team Kata - 1st place (1991)
ESKA European Championships - Ladies Individual Kata - 1st place (1991, 1996, 1998)
ESKA European Championships - Ladies Team Kata – 1st place (1986, 1987, 1991, 1998, 1999)
ESKA European Championships – Ladies Team Kumite – 1st place (1994)
Nakayama Cup - Ladies Individual Kata – 1st place (1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Overall Winner of the Ladies Nakayama Cup (1994, 1998)
KUGB National Championships - Ladies Individual Kata – 1st place – 16 times
KUGB National Championships - Ladies Individual Kumite – 1st place (2001)
KUGB National Championships - Grand Champion (2001)
KUGB National Championships - Team Kumite - 1st place – (1994, 1995)
KUGB National Championships - Team Kata - 1st place – (1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991)
KUGB Shotokan Cup – Junior & Senior Ladies Individual Kata – 1st place - 15 times
KUGB Shotokan Cup - Ladies Individual Kumite – 1st place (1999)
KUGB Shotokan Cup - Grand Champion (1999)
EKGB Ladies Individual Kata Champion - 4 times
Numerous regional titles with KUGB and all styles events

Julie’s championship highlight came in 2001 when she finally achieved her dream which was to be the first woman to achieve the Double at the KUGB National Championships and become Grand Champion, in winning both the Individual Kata and Kumite events.  As a result of this Julie was the first and only woman to be presented with the Wilkinson Sword, for the most outstanding competitor.  She was also the first woman to become Grand Champion in the KUGB Shotokan Cup in 1999.  Julie was coached by her Husband John Holdsworth, who provided the structure, guidance and the encouragement to keep her going in order to reach her goal.

Although Julie has achieved many competition victories she has always maintained that ‘the training is what it is all about’.  Julie strongly believes the correct training is the key, this is where she developed and grew both in terms of her karate ability and as a person.  Her karate training over the years has taught her many valuable lessons in life and believes personal goals, whatever they may be, can be achieved with the correct attitude, commitment and determination.

After achieving her ambition, Julie decided to retire from competition in order to focus on teaching and running the Ronin Karate Club in Washington Leisure Centre with John.  In addition, she regularly teaches all over the country and is a highly respected for her knowledge of both Kata and Kumite.

Julie studies technique and movement and how body shape and style impact on this.  We are all individuals and how each of us move may well be different and unique to each individual.  Julie hopes to pass on her experience and is now coaching and studying coaching methods to try to help others to achieve their goals and ambitions.

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.

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/

Christian Whale 6th Dan

Christian Whale was born in Aberdare South Wales on the 28th of December 1973. He began training at the age of 11 in 1984 at Aberdare Karate Club under the guidance of sensei Lyndon Davis.  He started karate when his dad could no longer get him to boxing on the training times. The karate club was more local. Christian passed his 1st Dan in December 1988 under Sensei Enoeda. He passed his 6th Dan in 2016 under Sensei Sherry, Sensei Poynton and Brennan.
Christian began competing in 1986. Trained with the Welsh squad at the age of 13 and had to wait until the age of 18 to compete for the Welsh team in Monaco and remained in the Welsh team until he retired at the age of 39. Christian competition success: KUGB Welsh championship team Kata 1st place 17 times. KUGB Welsh championship individual junior kumite 5 times . KUGB Welsh championship individual senior kumite 2 times. KUGB Welsh championship individual kata 1 time. KUGB Welsh championship team kumite 1st place 2 times.  Shotokan cup senior kata medalist 9 times. KUGB national championship senior kata medalist 3 times. KUGB national championship team kata medalist 4 times. European team kata medalist. European team kumite medalist. Welsh karate league senior kata 1st place. Welsh karate league senior kumite 1st place. Welsh bushkai senior kata 1st place. Also achieving many more medals in all styles events.

In 2008 he was awarded a 6th special award and a life time achievement award. Also he was awarded the Enoeda cup. Christians highlight came when he achieved his dream and became the 1st Welsh man to get through to the to KUGB national championship kata finals, although Christian had achieved many competition victories he has also been the instructor of Porthcawl SKC since the age of 18 and has a very successful dojo. 3 of his students have Won the world championship team kata and won the European and world championships individual kata events. Christian passes all his experience to his students and hopes for much more success in the future.

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.

ining to enhance their performance.

Mike Burgess 5th Dan

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

Mike considers himself very fortunate to train regularly with such a unique and committed instructor – and for this reason he has 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 he has attended nineteen courses and currently holds the grade of 5th Dan. Over the years he has 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 he works, Mike 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 him the chance to practice teaching styles and pass on what he has learnt. Foremost in mind is the need to impart Zazen sitting and mental discipline as these are the aspects of Karate which he believes are most easily forgotten.

In 2004, Mike inquired with Sensei whether he would consider teaching me the art of Japanese sword. He agreed and for several years Mike 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 he is very honoured to currently hold the title of Senpai for this class. In his career as a swordsman Mike has successfully trained one new member from complete beginner to the point where they joined the sword class. He believes very strongly the study of the sword has accelerated his depth and appreciation for the way of Karate.

Martin Lindlay 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.

Rangan Ravindran 5th Dan

Rangan started his martial arts training with Judo in 1987, eventually fighting at a national level within the North of England regional squad. In 1996 he stumbled into Sensei Rick Jackson’s dojo at the University of Leicester and instantly realised that something special was happening there and wanted to be part of it!

Rangan trained in Sensei Jackson’s dojo from 1996 up until 2014 when he settled permanently in the south east of England. During this time Rangan was the University club and dojo captain which ensured he undertook extensive teaching responsibilities in Sensei Jackson’s dojo. Rangan has been fortunate to have undertaken all his gradings with Sensei Jackson and was awarded 5th degree black belt in 2016. He also considers himself very lucky to have spent 10 years learning muto-ryu iaido (sword) from Sensei Jackson.

In addition to Fudochi Shotokan karate, Rangan has regularly trained at a range of different Shotokan and other martial arts dojos. He has trained regularly in Muay Thai, boxing, Kyokushinkai (Steve Arneil) and Goju-ryu karate (1st dan).

Rangan now lives in Surrey, in addition to his own daily personal training regime, he has opened his own dojo with the HDKI in Tolworth teaching and training in Fudochi Karate.

Rangan aims to keep progressing his understanding of Sensei Jackson’s Fudochi way, pushing his own physical and technical boundaries and to start teaching the Fudochi concepts more widely in Surrey and South West London.

e spirit inside.

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.

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.

Neil Cook 3rd Dan

Neil 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 he discovered Shotokan, under the guidance of Sensei Ray Fuller and his Thames Karate Association. He 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.

He took his Shodan at Crystal Palace in 1981, and Nidan in 1983.

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

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

They joined the HDKI 4 years ago and he 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.

Paul Langley 3rd 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  and Sandan in July 2021.

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’.

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.

John O'Neill 3rd Dan

John started training in karate age 13 years old at a local sports centre in the style of Wado Ryu and achieved 1st kyu. He also started training in Shotokan with Sensei Tony Chin at another sports centre and was training six times a week. As he progressed he wanted to challenge himself further and moved to train at the red triangle in Everton, sort of going overnight from being a big fish in a small pond to a tiddler in the ocean training there really pushed him both physically and mentally.

He stopped Wado Ryu as he preferred the stronger deeper stances and stronger movements of Shotokan as well as the competition side of things. He competed on a regular basis from an early age. Some of his achievements included Red Triangle individual kumite champion three times and he then managed to get on the senior Red Triangle men’s kumite team from age 18 and was part of the team that won the KUGB National Championships five times. He competed successfully in the KUGB Shotokan cup which is the individual championships for brown and black belts.  He won this in the under twenty one’s category age 19 and then came second in the northern regions that same year and third in the national championships that same year. He was then selected to compete for the England team at the European championships in Finland and won silver with the under 21 team. John continued to compete for the next 12 years and for both the Red Triangle, England and Great Britain teams at both European and World Championships medaling on a regular basis - highlights being world bronze medal at the world championships in Japan and silver medal in Russia. He was also part of the demonstration team with Sensei Enoeda in Japan and at the KUGB Nationals.

Away from Karate he works front line for the NHS in Liverpool as a Violence Reduction Specialist and have a BSC (Hons) degree so he consults in this area of specialism. He is married to Paula and they have two sons Connah and Patrick who all have a karate background as well.

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.

en leg" he replied.

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.

Chris Thomas

At 23 years of age, Chris began training at Halewood SKC in 1974, and in his own words, confesses he was quite a late starter. But, by 1981 he managed to become an instructor, alongside the senior members of the club, becoming an integral part of the Kumite team.

After fighting alongside each other for 11 years, the club was able to compete successfully at regional and national levels, including some international victories for various individuals in the club. Through their hard work and passion for the sport, the team was also able to win the national championship in 1989, as well as achieving various other awards, thanks to the brilliant leadership and individual efforts of the team members.

Shortly after, in 1991, Chris became chief instructor, and oversaw the training of 7 European champions and 3 world champions, 13 ladies team Kumite titles and 8 men’s Kumite team titles. some of the team members have moved onto other endeavours, but it goes without saying that their diligent approach to karate and their successes reflects them as individuals, as well as the clubs own efforts, morals and achievements.

Chris looks forward to continuing coaching upcoming, enthusiastic students with HDKI, and hopes to continue his successes as a chief instructor for as long as possible.

Avi Walker/Wolfsthal

Avi was born in 1969 in Israel and moved to the UK in 1997. He works as an IT consultant and holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science. Avi started training in 2011 at the Rising Sun Karate academy in Woking under Sensei Jamie Sims. Whilst still a brown belt he qualified as an assistant instructor under Sensei Neil Jerome and together they set up Kanshin Karate in Guildford. Avi passed his shodan in 2014 and has since been running Kanshin Karate club teaching most of the lessons.