Karate the Martial Art


Karate, Martial Art

In Japan over many centuries, fighting without weapons was a skill handed down from generation to generation, father to child, teacher to student. More recently we have seen the art of Karate - "The Way of the Empty Hand" - develop into a renowned and skilful martial art.

Shukokai Karate

Chojiro Tani began teaching the Karate style Shukokai (meaning the way for all) at a dojo in Kobe, Japan in 1946. Shukokai was designed around the study of body mechanics, is very fast due to its relatively high stance aiding mobility, and is known for the double hip twist, which maximises the force of its strikes; making it one of the most hard-hitting Karate styles.

Tani's most senior student, Sensei Shigeru Kimura, left Japan in 1965 to teach Shukokai in Africa. He developed Shukokai even further, emphasizing its power and strength; and was regarded as an expert on the style. He continued to teach after travelling to Europe, before settling in the United States in 1970 at the age of 29, where he taught at Yonezuka's Cranford dojo for two years; creating the first Shukokai World Tournament in 1981. Sensei Kimura died of a heart attack at the age of 54. Sensei Tani died on 11 January 1998.

Kimura Shukokai Karate

Kimura Shukokai grew out of the Shukokai school taught since 1978 in Hackensack, New Jersey, United States and then later in Tenafly, New Jersey by Shigeru Kimura, a long time student of Tani. After Kimura's death in 1995, the KSI international organization was formed to promote his style, co-led by his four senior students: Shihan Eddie Daniels, head of the Shukokai Karate Federation in England, Shihan Bill Bressaw, head of the American Shukokai Karate Union, Shihan Chris Thompson and Shihan Lionel Marinus of South Africa all now 9th Dan Black Belts.

Kent Karate

Kent Karate was formed in 2005 in the small village of Kingswood in Maidstone. The clubs are run by Sensei Chris Simpson and Sensei Katie Simpson both 4th Dan black belts. Sensei Chris starting training in 2000 and Sensei Katie 5 years earlier in 1995. Sensei Katie started with her best friend at primary school aged 8 and never looked back. Sensei Chris started by taking the step into the dojo after looking through the window for many years. The father and daughter team teach over 6 days a week, run competitions for their students and attend National and International tournaments and training. Sensei Chris and Sensei Katie are both First Aid trained and DBS checked.

Kent Karate Classes

All classes are mixed, for students of any age from 4 years to Adult.

Karate is a skilful martial art but at the same time it is intended to be enjoyed by the students and get them fit. Students will learn self-control and how to share, work and have trust in others. Beginners will be introduced to the basics of karate including stances, punching, kicking and blocking. There will be general fitness training, self-defence and some bag and pad work which will lead on to sparring techniques, ring craft and sparring itself. Students also learn different forms or sequences of moves known as kata and their application to real life situations. In addition students will learn about the etiquette of karate including politeness and respect. All students are taught that "The ultimate aim of the martial arts lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants". Games are incorporated into the training to ensure that students, particularly the youngest ones, enjoy themselves whilst getting fit.

Fight Club

Fight Club is for more experienced students and concentrates on sparring and sparring techniques. Beginners will be able to progress to joining that session after they have successfully passed their first grading after about 3 to 4 months.


Advanced Karateka will learn complex Kata and sparring techniques which are taught at a very high standard by national and international champions. Any student who would like to join the club from another style, graded to any level, will be assessed and graded to the level seen fit by the instructors for Kimura Shukokai Karate.


Students are graded approximately every 4 months for junior grades and slightly longer for more senior grades. A student's progress from one coloured belt to another starting on white belt and progressing to yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and black. Grading's depend upon a student's progress, attitude, application and attendance.


There are no club membership fees and the first lesson is free for every new student. The club works on a pay as you go basis and there are discounts for families. Up to date details of fees can be obtained from Sensei Chris or Sensei Katie. An annual licence with the Shukokai Karate Federation to whom the club is affiliated must be obtained when training commences and is updated every year.

What to Wear

To start training you can wear tracksuit bottoms and a loose T-shirt and when you know you are committed you can purchase a Gi, Karate uniform. This is worn to every class and should be kept clean and pressed.