The Kanzenki Shotokan Karate Club was formed in September 2007 by Sensei Lindsey Musing and came under the tutelage of Sensei Peter Wright (Zanshin Ryu Goju-Kai) to help get us off the ground. Our first dojo was at the Dormansland Memorial Hall and we were affiliated with the Amateur Martial Association (AMA) and then, after moving to East Grinstead, the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO) under the direction of Sensei Flood (5th Dan) of Bradford Shotokan. In October 2013 we joined Shotokan Karate Kanazawa Ryu International Federation (SKKIF), the UK arm of Sensei Kanazawa's Tokyo-based Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF).
In July 2015 Sensei Lindsey stepped down from running the club, handing the reins over to Garen Ewing, and at the start of 2016 we became part of the Shotokan Karate-do Kenkyujo under Sensei Dorian Fretwell (7th Dan), a senior graduate of Sensei Shiro Asano.
Our club often has guest instructors to help advance our training, these have included Sensei Dorian Fretwell (7th Dan, SKI), Sensei Jason Hadley (4th Dan, JKS), Sensei Robin Dale (5th Dan, KUGB) and Sensei Peter Wright (5th Dan, AMA).
Click here to see our training schedule and how to find us.
||Garen Ewing 3rd Dan
After a false start in 1978, Garen started karate properly in 1985 under Sensei Brian Whitehouse. He later attended the International Karate Association HQ in Glendale, California, training under Takayuki Kubota for a year, 4-6 times a week, and attaining 3rd Kyu. Returning to the UK he gained 1st Dan under Sensei Mike Springer in Dec 1988 and became the first black belt at Sensei Whitehouse's club. Garen also trained under Sensei Jim Snook and was assessed as a 1st Dan into the KUGB.
As well as being the Senpai at Sensei Whitehouse's dojo, Garen later ran a small karate club at Gatwick. He took over the reins of the Kanzenki Karate Club in July 2015.
||Keith Hawker 2nd Dan
Keith started Shotokan Karate with the KUGB grading under Sensei Enoeda in Bournemouth in the 1970's, attaining 5th Kyu. After a long break from Karate due to work and family commitments Keith started training again with his daughter and, due to the long break, re-started as a white belt under the instruction of Sensei Gillies. He worked his way through the Kyu grades and passed his 1st Dan under Sensei Flood (5th Dan) in Oct 2009.
||Mark Ottman 1st Dan
Mark came to karate in 2002 under the instruction of Sensei Gillies, training three times a week in Shotokan and working his way through the kyu grades to 1st kyu. After a medical break in 2008/2009 for a 'new leg', he achieved his 1st Dan under Sensei Flood (5th Dan) in Jul 2011. He has attended several organised summer camps since 2004, in Paris and Torquay, working with many different experienced Dan grade Instructors.
What to expect from training
All sessions start with a warm-up. This is very important for reducing any risk of injury during training, and consists of exercises to warm up the joints and light stretching. These will include things such as hip rotations, trunk twists, leg extensions, shoulder rotations, leg swings and light jogging.
Sometimes we will do slightly more athletic stretching part-way through a session when the body is warmer and more able to benefit from such exercises. Stretching can help to increase your movement (for instance with kicks), and help condition the body resulting in better and safer karate techniques.
Often included as part of the session, usually once we are warmed up after a bit of training, will be various keep-fit and strengthening exercises, such as press-ups, sit-ups, star-jumps and squats, etc.
After the warm-up we will usually move on to basics which consists of the fundamental techniques of karate - blocks, punches and kicks. No matter how long you've been doing karate, techniques always need polishing, and the repetition is what gives you a 'muscle memory' so the movements become more natural and instinctive. It is also a good next level of warm-up as you start to increase the effort.
Basics may be done 'on the spot' - standing in a circle (sakuru undo) and concentrating on just the arm and leg movements, or as moving basics (kihon ido) - using stances to advance and retreat while practising combinations of moves with various levels of complexity. Often we will start with on-the-spot basics and then shift to moving combinations, where more power, agility and focus are applied. Combinations can be created from scratch, or may be pre-arranged, such as our '1 to 12' set (see kihon ido here)
Partner work (kumite)
Partner work is done in the form of a series of controlled pre-arranged attacks and defences whereby the karateka can put into practice the basics and combinations they have been learning. This is important for learning distancing and control, as well as the general practicalities of a technique.
Partner work is usually a formal exercise and can be practised as one-step, three-step or five-step kumite, or as a way to practice a pre-defined combination or kata application (see the kumite section for Sensei Kanazawa's partner drills).
A next step up is semi-free sparring, where a pre-arranged attack is defended using any technique and counter-attack. Then there is free-sparring (jiyu kumite) where two karateka face each other and engage in a (controlled) free exchange of techniques, trying to score 'points'. This is most useful for competition, and though we do some free-sparring, it is not a focus of our club.
Another kind of partner work involves practising techniques against pads and shields, where full contact can be used for safe impact training.
Kata are a pre-arranged set of techniques laid out in a pattern on the floor, consisting of strings of combinations of defences and attacks in multiple directions. They are the heart of karate and a dictionary of techniques (see our kata section here).
Beginners will start by learning the most basic kata, Heian Shodan, which consists of just five techniques and two stances, and is twenty-one movements long. They will then progress through a variety of basic kata with more and more variety of technique. Shotokan has five basic kata and 21 advanced kata. The longest, Kanku-dai, has 64 moves.
To truly understand a kata, the combinations can be isolated and practiced with a partner.
Rather than just stopping cold, at the end of the training session we will do a warm-down to help relax the joints and muscles, usually with a bit more light stretching. This will also help to lessen any aching from the exercise over the next couple of days.