I originally started Karate training at the request of my Dad when I was just 8 years old. Back then techniques and methods were very different, thankfully things have definitely changed for the better with a more modern and effective approach to teaching.
I started my training in the Shotokan style but later had to take a break in order to attend University. After many years forging a successful career in Information Technology I was introduced to the style of Shukokai. I successfully transitioned to this style and subsequently gained my Black belt. I am currently a 4th Degree
(Dan) Black Belt. I am a Level 4 Senior Instructor with the SKU, and regularly attend courses held by our 9th Degree Chief Instructor (Stan Knighton). In addition I am also an SKU Kyu Grading Officer and SKU Competition Judge. I take an active role in our governing body (the SKU) and I am currently a member of the Exec Committee.
I am very privileged to also have my daughter training in the club, who is now 11 years old, and is 2nd Kyu Brown belt, she is now well on the way to achieving her Black belt in the next few years.
I enjoy working and teaching both adults and children, and I hope you will find our warm and family orientated nature appealing.
Look forward to seeing you soon... Mark
About the S.K.U.
The Shukokai Karate Union (SKU):
The style of Karate practised at Kaihatsu Do is known as Shukokai (pronounced Shu-Ko-Kai). In 1968 the Japanese Karate instructors Sensei Tani and Kimura introduced Shukokai Karate to England. In 1969 the Shukokai Karate Union (SKU) was founded in Sheffield, it is the SKU that Kaihatsu Do and it's students are a member of. The SKU is the original Shukokai Karate organisation in the UK and acts as the governing body for our Club. The SKU is run by our Chief Instructor Sensei Stan Knighton (9th Dan). All Karate Clubs and Instructors that are members of the SKU are CRB checked, Insured, First Aid qualified and required to maintain a high standard of training via an on-going Instructor training programme.
A Brief History of Shukokai Karate:
Shukokai Karate, known as "The Way for All" is a dynamic form of Okinawan Karate, which has evolved from careful analysis of the dynamics and principles of traditional Karate and body movement. It was designed around the study of body mechanics, is very fast due to its relatively high stance aiding mobility, and is known for the double hip twist, which maximises the force of its strikes; making it one of the most hard-hitting Karate styles.
Shukokai Karate is a direct decendent of the Shito Ryo style, which was originally formed in Soke Kenwa Mabuni (1890-1952), who was a descendent of the Okinawan warrior class, having served under the Okinawan Lords for many hundreds of years. Mabuni became a student of Sensei Itosu (1830-1915) who is also the founder of the Pinan kata and many more (in total around 23 kata). In 1929 Mabuni named his style (as required by the Japanese Martial Arts governing body – Butokukai) as Hanko – meaning "half-hard", but by the early 1930s, he had renamed it to Shito Ryu in honor of his two original masters – Itosu and Higaonna.
One of Mabuni’s senior students Chojiro Tani went on to refine the Shito Ryu style into the Shukokai Karate style. In 1946 he opened the Shukokai School of Karate in Kobe, Japan where he taught Tani-ha Shito-Ryu. In 1965 Tani’s most senior student Shigeru Kimura (1941-1998) left Japan and headed to Africa to teach Shukokai Karate. During this time he developed Shukokai even further, emphasising its power and strength; and came to be regarded as an expert on the style. He continued to teach throughout Europe and eventually settled in the USA in 1970. It was during this time that Sensei Kimura visited England and founded the Shukokai Karate Union (SKU) in 1969, one of his students – Sensei Stan Knighton eventually took over as Chief Instructor of the SKU and still is to this current day.