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 5 Assessor / Senior Instructor and Club Chief Instructor. I opened the Club in early 2013 to fulfil my desire to pass on knowledge to more people and help people to learn to protect themselves in this increasingly dangerous world that we find ourselves in.
As an independent Club we have full control over how we operate. We have a grading syallabus from beginner to high grade black belt and are continuously developing our techniques and methids of teaching. My aim is to try to make what we teach both practical and yet retain the traditional elements of Karate.
I enjoy working and teaching both adults and children, and I hope you will find our warm and family orientated nature appealing.
I look forward to seeing you soon... Mark
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 it is from the SKU and Sensei Knighton (10th Dan) that many of our ways have evolved.