About York Karate Dojo

The formation of York Karate Dojo

York karate Dojo was formed when Sensei Simon Flint departed Haxby Karate Club to establish himself as a full-time karate instructor. York Karate Dojo was formed in April 2012 and in only a few months, the club had grown to include nearly 200 members training every week. To this day, the club is the largest in the city and the most successful in terms of black belt grading success and medal wins at both national and international level.

    The aims of York Karate Dojo are:

  • Further the objectives of Shotokan Karate, and the Japan Karate Shotorenmei (JKS) through excellent standards of practice, coaching and instruction.
  • Promote karate as a martial art, and a sport, that can be enjoyed by everyone in society that wishes to participate
  • Encourage its members to participate in competitions and will support any members who aspire to represent their country.

Sensei Simon Flint - Club founder and instructor

Simon started training in karate at the age of 8. His training was sporadic during his teenage years but on returning from university, he restarted karate with renewed zeal. He graded to shodan (1st level black belt) at the age of 23, under the examination of sensei Sadashige Kato (9th dan).

Kato Sadashige - 9th dan IJKA
Kagawa Masao - 9th dan JKS

At the age of 25, Simon graded to nidan (2nd level) and then sandan (3rd level) at the age of 28. Both gradings were conducted by the JKS World Chief Instructor Sensei Masao Kagawa. At 32, Simon travelled to Tokyo, Japan, and completed his yondan (4th level) black belt grading under a panel of the most senior JKS instructors in the world.

On returning to karate training in his early twenties, Simon entered the world of sport karate and represents JKS England. He competed at the JKS World Championships in 2011. Simon also competed in many national championships, reaching the finals at the JKS National championships and winning bronze medal at the JKS Ireland championships.

Simon has been teaching karate for over a decade and York Karate Dojo has quickly established a reputation for producing students with exceptional technical ability, boasting an unequalled record of none of it's students ever failing a black belt grading to date, and elite level competitors. One student from York Karate Dojo, Harry Hardcastle, is a current member of the All Karate Styles England Squad, the first from York to ever reach such a standard.

What is the Japan Karate Shotorenmei?

(The below is taken from www.jks.jp)

Japan Karate Shoto Federation owes its existence to three great founders: Funakoshi Gichin, Nakayama Masatoshi and Asai Tetsuhiko. Now, our predecessors’ intentions have been taken over by our current chief instructor, Shihan Kagawa Masao. Thanks to his efforts, the Japan Karate Shoto Federation continuous to gain and prosper.

Funakoshi Gichin, the founder of the Shotokan style of karate, brought the style from Okinawa to mainland Japan in 1922. He adapted the original Okinawan martial art of Tode Jutsu into karate-do to match the Japanese martial art standard of Budo and made it suitable for the university curriculum in mainland Japan.

After the Second World War his disciple, Nakayama Masatoshi Sensei, had significantly developed the karate of Funakoshi Sensei. Repeating movements after the instructor was the basic method of Okinawan karate. To make this approach systematic, Nakayama Sensei standardized fundamental techniques, adopted scientifically based training methods and established competition rules. All those innovations created the basis of present day karate.

The former JKS Chief Instructor, Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei, inherited modern karate from Nakayama Masatoshi Sensei and gave it a new perspective. In 2000, Asai Sensei established the Japan Karate Shoto Federation in order to further develop the Budo karate evolution. He created new unique katas, practiced only by JKS members. They are the Junro kata series, from Shodan to Godan, and 17 Koten kata. He also launched innovative wheelchair karate training methods for people with reduced mobility.

Asai Sensei enriched Karate-do by intensive rotational movements and whip-like actions of the body and limbs. His vision of Budo karate has been developed through the Junro and Koten katas, which means powerful techniques through total control over body motion. Despite being seriously ill later in life, the 71 year old Asai Sensei was capable of demonstrating breath-taking speed and power. He claimed that even senior people with weaken muscular strength were able to produce explosive motions, whether it be a kick or a punch. On the passing of Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei, Masao Kagawa Shihan took over the responsibility of JKS Chief Instructor.

The concept of Kagawa Shihan lies in the development of traditional Shotokan karate techniques based upon tried and tested methods used in national and international championships. Therefore, the fundamental Shotokan principles of dynamism and power were adapted for international competition practice. Through experience, this approach has resulted in a solid winning formula.

Fused by Kagawa Shihan, the strength of Budo and the aspiration of tournament success underpin the core of modern Karate development.