About the club

Origin

This club was established in May 2009. We practiced Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate. This translates as the ‘Hard/Soft School of Karate’. Okinawa is the largest island in the Ryu Kyu chain of islands south of Japan and is where Karate developed after local trade with China.

Instructors

Sensei Nigel Thomas, is a 7th Dan black belt, with over forty years experience of Goju Ryu and extensive knowledge of many other martial arts. Originally from New Zealand  he  has  trained all over the world including a great deal of time training in Okinawa, Japan, the spiritual home of Goju Ryu, with Supreme Master Morio Higoanna. Sensei Nigel is strong advocate of Higoanna’s mantra ‘Look, listen, sweat.’

Sensei Steve Walley, is a 6th Dan black belt. He began training in 1993 in Liverpool and gained his black belt 5 years later. He was a member of the England national team for the 2006 IOGKF World Championships. He has also regularly trained in Okinawa. Sensei Steve’s personal philosophy: ‘Train hard and keep notes.’

Affiliation

The club is affiliated to an international school called the International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Do Federation (IOGKF), through a national body, the English Goju Ryu Karate Do Association (EGKA). The IOGKF Supreme Master (Saiko Shihan) is Morio Higaonna (Judan, Okinawa).

Higaonna Shihan is a tenth Dan and a highly regarded master throughout the world. IOGKF Chief Instructor (Shuseki Shihan) is Tetsuji Nakamura (Nanadan, Canada). IOGKF Vice Chief Instructors (Fuku Shuseki Shihan) are Ernie Molyneux (Hachidan, England) and Henrik Larsen (Nanadan, Denmark)

Sensei Ernie Molyneux is also Chairman of the EGKA and UK Chief instructor.

Being affiliated to these groups gives us access to training events in the UK, around the world and in Japan at the headquarters dojo. There is a yearly European Gasshuku, or training camp, in a different European city and world Gasshuku every two years.

Licences

It is mandatory for members to hold an EGKA licence if you are training. This enables you to train at any EGKA or IOGKF dojo (trans: ‘Place of the way’, or school), hold an EGKA/IOGKF grade as well as providing personal liability insurance under the EGKA insurance scheme. (See below for prices)

Costs

Karate is a relatively cheap and affordable way of getting and staying fit. Your first lesson will be FREE, so that you can get a taste of what to expect and to see if you like it.
Note: Due to COVID all attendance at our classes MUST be booked in advance.  Please bear with us during this challenging time.

Remote classes (Zoom) are £30 a month for adults or £25 for juniors.
Live “in person” classes are presently on hold due to the UK Lockdown.

Other expenses include Licence currently cost £35 for 12 months for seniors and £20 for juniors (under 18). On top of this eventually you may want to purchase a “Karategi” (training uniform) which is part of the formality of Karate training, this varies in price but generally between £20 – £30 will usually buy one a good quality outfit. Before you buy one, talk to the club and we might be able to get a discount if several people need to purchase a Gi at the same time. Other than this, as you become more serious and committed to training there will be various travel and accommodation expenses associated with attending regional (e.g. senior gradings), as well as national and international training events (e.g. Gasshuku). In time you are expected to attend some of these events but they are not compulsory. You’ll find the more you train, the more inclined and motivated you may become to attend such events.

Constitution

The club has a written constitution based on the ethos and values of the governining bodies the IOGKF and EGKA. Please ask to read this if you wish.

Committee

The club is managed and organised by a committee comprising:
Chairman, Sensei Nigel Thomas 7th Dan,
Vice Chair, Sensei Steve Walley 6th Dan
Treasurer, Philip Norfolk, 1st Dan

More information

To find out more about our club, our parent organisations and the history of Goju Ryu Karate, take the time to have a look at the websites listed on our links page.