Our club was established in January 2006 by Chief Instructor Bill Gorthy (7th Dan), who started his karate career with Dempsey’s Karate School in Dundee, Scotland under the KUS/North which was affiliated to the JKA.
Bill has studied Shotokan Karate for 42 years and has trained with many renowed Japanese masters. Since forming in 2006, the club has grown in numbers and also attracted former Shotokan karateka from across the island. We are an independant non-profit making club with no political interference from outside bodies.
All of our senior black belt instructors are fully qualified (level 2 & 3) coaches in Shotokan karate and hold first aid certificates.
Our senior black belt club instructors are Jose Travanca (4th Dan) and Ray Dubras (4th Dan). Both of these senior instructors have many years experience in teaching Shotokan Karate and developing students to their full potential. They are both a great asset to the club.
We are affiliated to Traditional Shotokan Karate Association Sensei Peter Manning (7th Dan) Chairman/Chief Instructor.
What is Shotokan Karate?
Shotokan karate is not about breaking bricks and pieces of wood. It is a highly developed physical martial art which makes use of all parts of the body in a dynamic system of self defence. It is a Japanese fighting system that is made up of three parts as follows;
These are the basic fundamentals that everyone learns and practices when training in the dojo. They comprise of punches, blocks, kicks and stances. Every student recieves a training syllabus relevant to their level of knowledge already attained and also the next level of what is to be studied and practiced for their next belt.
These basic fundamentals are generally practiced within the group at normal training sessions along with other students. New students would normally take a few lessons to be able to co-ordinate basic techniques with movement, but they should not be put off by this as we were all the same when we first started.
Kata are comprised of a series of moves and techniques arranged in set sequences in which many defensive and counter/offensive techniques are employed through the range of stances against imaginary opponents. They are performed on one’s own, therefore the student performing the particular kata will practice each move as a group, but independant of one another. Once the student fully understands the kata they are then taught the Bunkai (self defence) techniques within the kata. This is generally performed with a partner or in a small group.
The kumite we practice in Shotokan are always well controlled. This is what sets us apart from many other styles of karate and makes us more deadly as opponents. We recognise and understand the power that Shotokan techniques bring and we accept responsibility for that power. Students of Shotokan karate practice extreme control at all times.
There are three main types of kumite that we practice, which are;
Gohan Ippon Kumite – 5 stepsparring
Sanbon Ippon kumite – three step sparring
Kihon Ippon kumite – one step sparring
Jiyu Ippon kumite – freestyle sparring
Each of these levels have been developed to introduce the student gradually to attain greater understanding of kumite in a controlled way.