The Colchester Shotokan Karate Club, has been established and practising traditional Japanese Karate at Leisure World since 2000.
We are a family orientated club, with lots of young members, who have encouraged their parents to participate in studying this unique martial art, which has been practiced since the 1600's.
All of the instructors at the club have gained their ranks from beginners to black belts (dan grades) and have all graded up through the clubs grading syllabus, so they understand the techniques and the determination needed to achieve. We are all white belts that has never gave up.
We would love for you to come along for a free sample lesson so please have a look at our Training Times to find the time and location that suits you or simply Contact Us for more information.
The Dojo Kun (rules of the Dojo) are precepts that all karateka (practitioner of karate) follow and adhere to. We say them at the end of the lesson in both Japanese and English to reinforce the reasons why we train and to better understand Shotokan's rich heritage.
The Colchester Shotokan Karate Club is part of The International Karate Daigaku (IKD).
The International Karate Daigaku was formed in February 2011 after Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai resigned from the International Shotokan Karate Federation.
Following his departure from the ISKF in January 2011, dojos across Canada and throughout the Carribean and South American also resigned. In less than two weeks, the IKD was created.
Over the following years, the IKD introduced many new things to the organization. Each year at IKD Honbu World Camp, the organization grows by adding new layers to the IKD.
By 2017, the IKD has grown to include 70 Regions in 46 Countries.
IKD will use traditional and modern applied research to offer the highest level of karate to all students. IKD will uphold standards of excellence that inspire our students to improve character development and instil core values of respect, honour and discipline. The IKD will also encourage positive behaviour and empower children and youth to live socially and emotionally healthy lives. The philosophy of karate will also be merged and aligned with culture and education to reflect the environment within which we live. It will help us understand ourselves and each other. The end result is to have karate at the heart of all communities and promote peace, thereby preserving the well-being of humanity.
The Shotokan Tiger
Gichin Funakoshi’s pen name “Shoto” literally means ‘pine waves’, and today is synonymous with the tiger symbol and Shotokan Karate-do. But few people understand the relationship of Shoto to what is commonly known as the “Shotokan Tiger”. When Gichin Funokoshi was a young man, he enjoyed walking in solitude among the pine trees which surrounded his home town of Shuri. After a hard day of teaching in the local school and several more hours of strenuous karate practice, he would often walk up Mount Torao and meditate among the pine trees. Mount Torao is a very narrow, heavily wooded mountain which, when viewed from a distance, resembles a tiger’s tail. The name “Torao” in fact literally means “tiger’s tail”.
In later life, Funakoshi explained that the cool breezes which blew among the pines made the trees whisper like waves breaking on the shore. Thus, since he gained his greatest poetic inspirations while walking there, he chose the pen name of Shoto, “pine waves”.
The tiger which is commonly used as the symbol for Shotokan karate is a traditional Chinese design which implies that “the tiger never sleeps”. Symbolized in the Shotokan tiger, therefore, is the keen alertness of the wakeful tiger and the serenity of the peaceful mind which Gichin Funakoshi experienced while listening to the pine waves on Tiger’s Tail Mountain.
GICHIN FUNAKOSHI & MASATOSHI NAKAYAMA
Gichin Funakoshi, The Father of Modern Karate, was born in 1868 in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. He was the son of a Samurai who started training in the Martial Arts as a young man to help overcome his frailness. He became the Chairman of the Okinawa Shobukai in 1913. Funakoshi was a school teacher and a poet who wrote under the pen name of "Shoto". From 1924 until his death in 1957, he travelled around Japan teaching karate at many Universities. He wrote several books on Karate including his autobiography, Karate-Do: My Way of Life , which was completed shortly before his death.
Masatoshi Nakayama was born in 1913 in Yamaguchi Prefecture. He is considered one of Master Funakoshi's greatest students. Master Nakayama wrote many books on Karate included the Best Karate series. He helped to develop the JKA and served as the chief instructor from 1955 until his death in 1987. During his time as director of the JKA his goal was to spread karate around the World. He was extremely successful. Shotokan Karate is the most widely practiced form of Karate on the planet.
NAKAYAMA & FRANK WOON-A-TAI
In the early 1970s, Master Frank Woon-A-Tai trained in Japan receiving his 1st Degree Black Belt from the Japan Karate Association in 1971. During his time in Japan, he had the opporunity to train with many famous karate masters includingGrand Master Masatoshi Nakayama.
TERUYUKI OKAZAKI & FRANK WOON-A-TAI
Master Frank Woon-A-Tai would continue his training as part of the ISKF under the leadership of Master Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th Danand Master Yutaka Yaguchi, 9th Dan. Both men trained under Masters Gichin Funakoshi & Masatoshi Nakayama.
YUTAKA YAGUCHI & FRANK WOON-A-TAI
While part of the ISKF, Master Frank Woon-A-Tai served as co-Chairman of the ISKF Technical Committee with Master Yutaka Yaguchi, 9th Dan.
Master Frank Woon-A-Tai’s main goal continues to be of helping young people everywhere in the world find purpose and direction in life by keeping them off drugs, and to break the cycle of crime and violence through the discipline of karate training. His wife Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai was the first female international black belt (1974) in Guyana and who presently, is the first female eighth degree black belt in the IKD and a Vice Chairman.
We are lucky to be working with Gill Drew-Griffiths, a trained physiotherapist who provides insight and guidance.
Sensei Daniel Hart, 3rd Dan
Sensei Mark Skinner, 3rd Dan