Sensei is Rocking…

Another week in the sun for me at the Gibshot dojo in Gibraltar. I’ll take a few sunny pictures sensei Paul certto wind you up later in the week. It started with an early morning trip taking off from Gatwick on a Monarch flight leaving at 6.20am, luckily I stayed in the airport but with travelling by train and the panic I may not hear my alarm .. there isn’t much sleep to be had.

First lesson last night and a chance to present Paul Crudgington with his dan grade certificate, see photo. Tonight and Thursday we have two more lessons and a small grading after the Thursday session. Gibshot is a small club and they are trying to increase their membership which these days is difficult but a great place to visit. I should know I’ve been coming for about 14 years! We’ve trained in a few places here because space is a premium but you can’t fault their enthusiasm.

I am about to have breakfast in Paco’s across the border in San Roque which is the Gibshot equivalent of the St Mary’s Arms. Nothing too dangerous just coffee and toast with the usual olive oil and  tomato on top. Healthy living which naturally offsets my evening supper of a glass of whiskey. Right better get back into training.

See you all back in UK for the Focus on Kata Class on the 9th of April


Focus on Kata Class April 9th

The superb brainstorming idea of Sensei Alan Lewis now copied southern area wide is on again this coming April! All the details are below and ALL grades are welcome. SEKU is a non elitist organisation that keeps us all training together where possible. Learn from the best in the south of England from Saltash across past Portsmouth, Crofton, Lovedean to Chichester and points beyond, there is no better. Visit 


   Date:   Sunday 9th April 2017
Times: 10:00am – 12:00noon
Venue: Crofton Community Centre
Stubbington Lane
PO14 2PP

   Cost: £7:00 Adults – £5:00 Juniors

Email or kataclass  for details



SEKU Championships return home to the Portsmouth Academy after 35 years.

This years SEKU annual competition returned to its roots after thirty five years away at the Mountbatten centre. The Portsmouth Academy, also home to Portsmouth Karate Club – SEKU’s honbu dojo was the setting for the annual competition for SEKU students to meet, chat and compete. Pictured are some of the highlights Saltash the Team kumite winners, Graham Rowley of Portsmouth dojo mixing it with Aaran Periera of Lovedean dojo.

Also pictured is Rosie Neville a young lady from Saltash dojo who had an excellent day winning the  Junior Sanbon kumite, Girls Individual kumite and the Junior 3rd kyu & above  kata. To crown her day Sensei Dewey also awarded her the Hannah Day Trophy for Technical Excellence an award she thoroughly deserved and no doubt making her instructor Steve Hollister very proud.

SEKU would like to thank all the spectators and families that supported the event by turning up to watch. Also the referees, judges and timekeepers who gave up their day to work as always for a sandwich and a coffee. The first aid of St John Ambulance who had a quiet day and the competitors who came from far and wide to take part and make the day memorable;  as I always say ‘Top Drawer.’

Finally as always big thanks to SEKU administration a.k.a. Maureen for meeting, greeting and registration as well as sandwiches on the door along with Faye.



Legends 2017

The pre SEKU competition warm up for our squad is always the legends in Bracknell. As per usual SEKU were among the medals with SEKU winning the team event. All the usual suspects took part and to them I give thanks for keeping us as always in the forefront of karate minds.

SEKU Results from the Legends:
1st – Mens Team Kumite (Dan Walton/Joe Crowe/Steve Gibbons)
2nd – Mens Individual Kumite – Steve Gibbons
3rd – Mens Individual Kumite – Dan Walton
1st – Mens Individual Kata – Mike Grimwood
3rd – Mens Individual Kata – Rob Maynard
1st – Mixed Team Kata – Joe Crowe joined Taka Kai Scotland as they were one man short

SEKU Coach – Steve Hollister
SEKU Referees – Paul Moreby – Alan Lewis – Eden Burrell – Chris Carr
Thanks also to Ken Lyons for the photo’s that accompany this blog and if you need any feel free to ask Ken when you see him on March 18th or send him an email at he’ll help I’m sure. Well done to all our SEKU karateka that took part or supported without you it wouldn’t be possible. Thanks also to our squad management and coach Stevie Hollister, always around to support advise and instruct.





March 18th looms large

img_3555For those heading back from SEKU’s day out at the Legends this weekend in Bracknell rest easy special congratulations to the SEKU team who won the team event, great performances by all as per usual. Now there are only two weeks before you can do it again at the SEKU competition. In it’s 35th year this is probably the oldest competition in the south of the UK, not counting that gurning one with the horse collar, welly throwing and the London to Brighton Rally.

The venue this year is at Portsmouth Academy opposite St Mary’s Church. If you didn’t get your entry forms yet then contact your Sensei or club secretary I sent the forms out by email about a week ago so they have them. The change of venue is really a return as we were there before we went into the Mountbatten and last years entries were lower than normal with the exception of the juniors which as always were brilliant. In fact it is excellent to see so many young ones starting up karate these are our future as well as our present and SEKU seems to have a bright future because of them. Our standards are high and their standards as well as those of the adults within our ranks are high too. SEKU continues to show the way.

I look forward to seeing you there on the day, I wish you all the best and a safe journey if you are travelling from the wilds of London or the South East. We, Maureen and I thank each of you for your loyalty and continued support for us and SEKU.



SEKU Update

Happy days! Focus on kata class this past weekend was taken by Senseis Alan Lewis and Brian Smith. Kata for those that couldn’t make it was Jiin. No doubt everyone will rush to the next class hoping we do Unsu when chances are it’ll be Kihon. Always the way that you miss the ones you wanted. Best thing is to be there then you don’t miss it 🙂2016-02-17-14-55-48-1

Thanks to those who sent apologies for not being able to attend, the numbers were down from normal but it isn’t that long since the last one perhaps understandable. Either way see you at the next one on the 9th April.

Whilst on the subject of updates the SEKU website has had a bit of an overhaul recently. I’ve also added a new page for the Hombu dojo, i.e. Portsmouth Karate Club. Hombu is probably the oldest club currently in existence in the south of England and one of the oldest in the country. One of these days I will publish all the history I have about the Pompey Karate revolution but suffice to say if you have not trained there well you’d better sort it. A bit like Mecca everyone should visit Hombu, except more than once a lifetime.

Speaking of visiting Portsmouth Karate Club are always looking for new students to turn into full SEKU members please pass on my details to anyone you see or speak to that is interested in karate. If another dojo is closer I will hand them to another SEKU instructor.

Finally don’t forget the SEKU Championships are coming up on 18th March. The venue this time is Portsmouth Academy, home of Hombu. All the forms will be sent to your club instructor/secretary in the next week or so. Get your entries in early and good luck to all of you on the day.



Black & Brown Belt course Newport, Isle of Wight

SEKU had another excellent B&B course last weekend this time at the Medina sports centre on the Isle of Wight.img_3418 Training was excellent as usual and we had plenty of students and SEKU instructors for myself and Sensei Brian to get stuck into.

As always great to see folks from far and wide making the trek across the most expensive piece of water in the world but it was worth it from my point of view.


The venue and students made for a great day. Congratulations to Harmeem Khan from Crofton dojo on her junior 2nd dan achievement and Paul Crudgington from Gibraltar dojo on achieving his sho dan, complete with black eye. Love it.
Mick Lambert who recently graded to 4th dan at the SEKU Instructors class was awarded his Diploma.



2017 .. already, really?


The year is already 8 days old the superstitious will be taking their decorations down and some will still be hanging desperately onto their NY resolutions. On that note I’d personally stick to easy ones that you’ll never break. In fact if you are looking for something to pledge here’s one:

“Make sure my Gi is ironed. A simple pledge because it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to iron it, as long as it is ironed.” The threat of press ups if it isn’t ironed is normally enough to help you stick to it.

There are others of course like visit Honbu dojo a couple of times a year. I mention it because recently I had cause to revisit the history of Pompey dojo from its beginnings in the mid 1960’s. Of course I didn’t go there myself until 1967 but even though it has moved on from the now demolished Southsea Community Centre we have been at the Portsmouth Academy for many many years. It, perhaps because it is a school doesn’t have the luxury of being purpose built. Sensei Enoeda’s dojo in Marshall St, London was one such place. As you entered, it felt different, there were pictures on the walls of Sensei. Even a trophy cabinet full of silver from the many competitions.

Portsmouth Honbu isn’t that but I feel nonetheless it has it’s history in the students that graced its floor. More often than not our courses are at other venues so again the chance of coming to Portsmouth is lessened. Sometimes SEKU instructors from other dojos pop in for a training session only last year the hall was full of our senior instructors, Sensei Smith, Sensei Lewis,Sensei Oliver and more.

The point is that even though you have your home dojo it has always been my thinking that you should take your karate and broaden that experience which is why we have Focus on Kata, Black & Brown belt courses as well as others. SEKU has depth our present instructors around the world present that depth on a daily basis. Honbu is the root and like all roots its good to water it sometimes. So pop along for an extra training session, don’t neglect your home dojo but add to it. We are there training Tues & Thursday if you feel the need to be part of that history. Hashtag spread the word.



New Sponsor

img_3277It is with great pleasure I announce that the Shotokan of England Karate Union (SEKU) have entered into a partnership with AirLink based in Portsmouth. Andy Skerry from Air Link approached me recently at the junior Christmas competition and asked if we could chat about sponsorship. I happily agreed, more so as Andy himself started karate at Honbu dojo and currently trains at Crofton.

For me it is great that students like Andy want to put something back into SEKU and not just turn up to train. Myself and Maureen often talk about the SEKU family that we are proud of and Air Link is part of that family. Thank you to them particularly Andy for his approach and remember check out their website if you need to give them some of your business.



December the karate holiday.

It isn’t often karateka take an extended break, if two weeks can be considered extended, however Christmas is the time when most dojo’s do take the period in full. Another anomaly of this is that most karate club xmas do’s are in a local chinese restaurant. The only festive thing you get is a New Year calendar, which used to be a surprise but now every chinese take away you go into, stuffs them into your bag along with the prawn crackers.xmaslineup

So while we sing songs of figgy pudding (what exactly is that?), turkey, plum duff, mince pies and eggnog. We’ll actually be tucking into spring rolls. fried rice, duck and pancakes topped with fried banana and ice cream! Globalisation they call it.

SEKU still have the Junior Competition don’t forget this coming Saturday December 3rd. If you haven’t already sorted it, contact your Sensei and we’ll see you there at the Priory Community Centre on Fawcett Road, Portsmouth. It’ll be a fun way to finish 2016.

As for instructors, well we’ll get a rest too, some of us. Of course my makiwara will get a pounding just to keep the parts moving and I’ll need oil for my knee of course. No don’t send me any 3 in 1 I’m talking Scottish oil, the type that takes several years in a cask.

So see you on the dojo floor before the xmas break up I’ll post a list of next years calendar events so you can plan to get your gumshields washed and mitts polished for squad training and competition.

See you at the xmas bash!