The history of Karate is shrouded in mystery. As far back as 1368 empty hand combat training was practised in Okinawa- China- India and it was not until 1915 that Karate as it is now known was brought to Japan from Okinawa. The person responsible for the introduction of Karate to Japan was Okinawan Master Gichin Funakoshi, an Educationalist with a strong desire to teach Karate as a means of character and spiritual development.
Between 1915-1936 Funakoshi and other great Masters developed their various styles of Karate and eventually Funakoshi named his style Shotokan, he also formed the Japan Karate Association which now represents millions of practitioners throughout the world. In England the Japan Karate Association is headed by Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta, 7th dan, who is also the chief Karate instructor at Budokwai.


The Budokwai holds classes four times a week that are available for all students of intermediate and advanced level. To be considered of intermediate level you must be at least a 7th kyu.
All of our classes follow a set structure to which students follow, and a Shotokan karate lesson consists of three parts;
Basics- the practise of basic techniques; punching, kicking, blocking and stances. Your knowledge of this will continually increase over time and as you move up the grade system.
Kata- A series of set moves in a specific shape/form. Each grade has a specific kata.
Kumite- Practising with a partner. For lower grades this will be simple and rehearsed, and as a student becomes more experiences free sparring is gradually introduced. Basic self defence will also be incorporated for all grades.


  1. Bow when entering and leaving the dojo
  2. Address any instructor as “Sensei” whilst in the dojo
  3. “Oss” is a sign of respect and is generally used in Karate particularly in the following situations;
    a) Upon receiving any advice or instruction from the instructor the student normally answers “oss”
    b) When bowing to a partner; and
    c) In any other appropriate situation ( for example during classes)
  4. Nobody may leave the class without first obtaining permission from the instructor before the class begins.
  5. Any student arriving late must take up a kneeling position at the front of the Dojo and await permission from the instructor before joining the class. On receiving permission, bow and then join the class.
  6. Gi’s (karate suits) must be kept clean and in good condition.
  7. Fingers and toenails must be kept short and clean.
  8. Jewellery must not be worn during training. If you cannot remove a ring then wrap tape around it.
  9. Students must not use their skills in any offensive way outside the Dojo.
  10. Students should attempt to train twice a week, plus practise at home.